Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Avocados - How to select one

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02-12-2008, 06:20 PM
I cannot seem to purchase an avocado that is edible....What am I doing wrong? I have read different things. The one I bought yesterday was a bit soft near the stem, which I thought I had read was what you need to look for. But I brought it home and cut it and obviously, I needed to let it ripen some. Other times, I've brought them home and let them ripen too much and when I've cut into them they're already black. Can anyone help? I would love to have some avocado slices occasionally but I hate buying something and having to throw it away.

02-12-2008, 07:05 PM
They should feel soft all over! Just a gentle pressure to your fingers, not squishy.

02-12-2008, 07:18 PM
Soft like a banana in the skin? Or soft like hmmmm, cream cheese in a foil pack? What a stupid question, but I just can't seem to get it right. If all of the ones in the store are too ripe, is it the kind of fruit (or is it a veggie) that will continue to ripen? Would I refrigerate it while it ripens or leave it at room temperature? I REALLY want to eat more avocado but I always seem to end up having to throw them away. Thanks for your help! :)

02-12-2008, 08:05 PM
Well the thing we always do in our house (it may be an old wives tale but it works for us) is buy them when they're hard. Then we put them in a bowl with bananas for a couple of days and that usually ripens them quite well lol... sounds ridiculous i'm sure. (the bananas are in their skins by the way), lol.

02-12-2008, 08:25 PM
From thegreenguide:

When purchasing, choose avocados that feel heavy and are free of blemishes, cuts or obvious bruise marks. If they are soft, check the area underneath the little removable stem; the flesh should be green, not black or brown. Because store-bought ripe avocados are often indistinguishable from severely bruised ones, it's best to purchase unripe avocadoes and allow them to ripen at home. Purchasing completely unripe avocados ensures that they haven't been damaged during shipping and storage. Avocados will ripen naturally in two to three days when left on the countertop; placing them next to bananas will speed the process. Don't refrigerate until they've ripened, as the cold will slow down the process.

02-12-2008, 08:53 PM
I think you want them be somewhere in between the banana and the cream cheese in terms of softness. They should yield a little when pressed but shouldn't be completely squishy. Softer than a banana but not quite as soft as cream cheese. Maybe somewhere around the firmness of an overripe banana. It also depends a little on how firm you like your avocados (sort of like how some people prefer firmer bananas). If you like them soft, let them sit on the counter until they are closer to the cream cheese end of the soft spectrum. They are probably still edible at the full fat cream cheese firmness, but that's probably as far as you want to push it. Once they get to non-fat cream cheese squishiness, they are probably overripe.

I also think you want them to be about the same level of firmness all over. Softness in one spot, like the end, probably indicates bruising.

I find that it's best to buy them when they first go on sale; that's usually an indication that the store has just gotten a good crop that probably didn't have to travel too far. If it's towards the end of the run and they're looking picked over, skip it because they've probably been sitting around for too long. And if they aren't on sale, well, they probably came from half way around the world and were picked way before they were ready.

02-12-2008, 11:26 PM
Thanks! You all have provided the kind of detailed information that I couldn't find elsewhere. I always think that no matter the subject, there is someone on 3FC that knows the answer. I'm looking for avocado the next time I go grocery shopping. :)

02-13-2008, 03:00 AM
Just my 2 cents- I am in California and we are Hass avocado lovers. I eat some every day in my salad. I generally buy them not rock rock hard, but definitely not with any squish as those can have nasty black spots. My "ripening" container is a pretty lidded soup tureen on the kitchen counter. I pop them in there and check them every day. Once they have a just slight give to a gentle squeeze they go into the fridge. The enclosed environment works way better than an open fruit bowl.

02-13-2008, 09:06 AM
How I ripen them:
put in a paper bag and fold over the top (loosely). Putting in a ripe unpeeled banana does make a difference (it keeps the ethylene gas in to hasten the process). Check again in 1-2 days. A rock-hard avacado is not a fun eating experience.