How to Pick a Good Avocado: Tips for Becoming an Expert
Let’s face it: avocados are a love-hate food. Some of us can’t get enough of them, while others can’t stand the texture or taste. Regardless of which side you fall on, it’s undeniably important to know how to pick a good avocado. There’s nothing worse than coming home from the grocery store, ready to whip up some guacamole, only to find out your avocados are either mushy, hard as a rock, or overripe. Well, worry no more! By following these six tips, you’ll become an avocado-choosing expert in no time!
The first step in selecting an avocado is to give it a good physical inspection. Check the color of the skin, which should be a dark green or blackish color. A lighter green color typically means the avocado is not yet ripe. Additionally, the skin should have a slight texture or “pebble” feel to it. Avoid avocados that have smooth skin, which can indicate that it was picked too early and won’t ripen properly.
Next, gently press the avocado towards the tip, where the fruit is located. If it gives slightly without being too mushy, it’s a good sign that it’s ripe. On the other hand, if it feels too firm or soft, it may not be at its optimal ripeness. Lastly, check for bruises, dents, or holes, which can indicate the avocado is overripe or damaged.
Another method for checking avocado ripeness is the stem evaluation. Remove the stem located at the top of the avocado and check the color underneath. If it’s green, the avocado is ripe and ready to eat. If it’s brown or black, the avocado is overripe. If the stem does not come off easily, it’s likely too firm to eat. If it comes off too easily and feels mushy, it’s overripe.
The “Under Pressure” Method
A popular method for checking avocado ripeness is the “under pressure” method. Gently squeeze the avocado in the palm of your hand. If it feels firm but gives slightly under pressure, it’s ripe and ready to eat. If it feels hard, it’s not yet ripe, and if it feels mushy, it’s overripe.
Look for Uniformity
When selecting avocados, it’s important to look for uniformity. This means that the avocado should be a smooth and consistent shape with no lumps or bumps. Irregularly shaped avocados may have inconsistent ripeness, making it difficult to determine if it’s ready to eat.
Additionally, it’s important to note that certain avocado varieties may have a different skin color when ripe. For example, Hass avocados should be a dark green or black when ripe, while the skin of a fuerte avocado should be a lighter green. Make sure to research the specific type of avocado you’re looking to purchase to ensure you’re selecting a ripe one.
Time and Temperature
Time and temperature can also play a significant role in avocado ripeness. When purchasing avocados, it’s important to choose ones that are firm to the touch but not overly ripe. This will give you some time to allow them to ripen at home. To speed up the ripening process, place avocados in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana and leave at room temperature for 2-3 days. If you’re not quite ready to use your ripe avocados, store them in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process.
By using these six tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an avocado-choosing expert. Don’t let the fear of selecting a bad avocado keep you from enjoying this delicious and versatile fruit.