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When the avocado is ripe and ready for eating, the skin peels away from the flesh very easily, and the inside of the avocado is soft and mashes easily with a fork. Ripe avocado is full of flavor – it tastes smooth and buttery. An avocado that is not yet ripe is tough and tasteless.
If you peel the avocado that is not yet ripe, there is no going back – you’ll have to eat it as is :) Therefore, before you peel an avocado, always make sure that this avocado is ripe! If the avocado is not ripe, just leave it on the counter – it will be ready to eat in a few days.
On the other hand, you certainly don’t want an avocado that is overly ripe (a.k.a spoiled)! While the unripe avocados can be eaten after several days, a spoiled avocado goes straight to the garbage can :)
Here’s how to tell if an avocado is ripe:
Step 1: Analyze How An Avocado Looks
The avocado skin should be uniform – without dents and bruises. The most common variety of avocado – Haas avocado – has a dark green skin with a black tint when ripe (like on the avocado picture below). When the Haas avocado is not ripe, it is bright green (like the leaves on a tree).
However, don’t judge the avocado simply based on its color as other varieties of avocadoes can be bright green even when they are ripe.
Step 2: Analyze How An Avocado Feels
Gently squeeze an avocado with your fingers. When I say “gently”, I mean it – don’t squeeze it so hard that the avocado gets smooshed :) Put an avocado between your thumb and pointer fingers, and give it a very gentle squeeze on the sides.
You should be able to feel the avocado flesh give a little when you squeeze.
The avocado that is not ripe is hard like a rock. The avocado that is spoiled is mushy and gives under your fingers way too much – spoiled avocado gets a permanent dent even from the gentlest squeeze.
After you feel enough avocadoes, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Perfect avocado-picking skills come from experience :)
The bottom line:
Hard like a rock = unripe avocado
Permanently dented from a very gentle squeeze = spoiled avocado
Gives under your fingers, but doesn’t have a visible dent afterwards = perfectly ripe avocado
Once you picked a ripe avocado, go make some guacamole using this quick and easy guacamole recipe