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How can you tell if an avocado is ripe?

  • A ripe avocado is relatively firm, but will yield to gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed.
  • Color cannot always be trusted to determine whether or not an avocado is ripe. Indeed, the squeeze test is the most accurate.
  • If you plan to use avocados immediately, buy them when they are already ripe.

Can you control the ripening process?

  • If you don't plan to use them for a few days buy them when they are harder and don't yield to squeezing, then set them out in a cool place and allow them to ripen.
  • Avocados that haven't fully ripened will lack flavor. If you need the avocados to ripen faster, they can be kept in a paper bag at room temperature in a dark place, an apple added to the bag will speed up the ripening process even more.
  • To slow down ripening, refrigerate them until a few days before use.

Once you cut into an avocado...

  • You want to eat it as quickly as possible. Avocados will quickly brown when exposed to air, even if refrigerated.
  • You can skim the brown layer from the surface of the avocado and make use of the rest.
  • A good way to stop browning is to sprinkle lime or lemon juice over the avocado (especially in guacamole form).
  • Another good technique is to put the avocado seed in the bowl with your guacamole or to cover the exposed flesh with plastic wrap to slow oxidation.

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