How To Pick A Ripe Avocado

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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).

picture of ripe avocado

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

bowl of guacamole

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One Comment

  1. You don’t have to eat an unripe avocado as is or toss it if its open too soon, you just have to quickly make a new skin by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and then wait a day or two as needed. Then you can reopen it to eat. The very very top of your cut might start to brown a bit but you can just cut that away. Now you have a perfectly ripe not at all wasted avocado.

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