How to Pick a Perfectly Ripe Avocado

June 29, 2016

The two keys to picking a perfectly ripe avocado: color + feel.

Crispy Avocado Fries from Joy the Baker

As avocados ripen, they tend to become darker in color (from light green to almost black), but color alone is not always the best indicator of perfect ripeness - firmness is an essential factor too.


In avo-lingo, there are five stages of avocado ripness:

At the 1st stage, an avocado is a light green color and will be very, very firm. Almost like a rock. At the 2nd stage, an avocado is at a medium green color and still quite firm. By the 3rd stage, an avocado will be dark green and feel somewhat firm, but give to a soft but consistent pressure. This avocado will be ready to eat in just 24 hours.


Soon after follows the 4th stage - this is the best stage for slicing and dicing.


Finally, when almost black and quite soft you're ready to make guacamole!


Store 'em Right

How to Store Avocados by Hass Avocado Board

To keep an avocado ripening normally: store at room temperature in an area with good circulation.


To ripen faster: keep avocados in a closed paper bag with a banana or apple.


To ripen more slowly: refrigerate them. Very firm avocados will keep in the fridge for a week or two. Put them out at room temp a day or two before using to complete the ripening process. Avocados that are already ripe may be stored in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.


To store cut avocados: keep tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the refigerator.


Avocado Pro Tip: 

How To: Avocado Perfection by Wake Up Get Cooking

Checking under the stem of an avocado is another way to check for ripeness. If the stem is hard to remove or doesn’t come off at all, the fruit is not yet ripe. If it pops off easily and underneath the stem is green, you’ve got yourself a ready-to-go ripe avocado! But if you pull back the stem and find brown underneath, the avocado is overripe and may contain brown spots. 


Happy guacing!

Posted by:
Rebecca Lubienski

Fresh produce, food trends, healthy, whole foods, avocados, how-to, ripe, produce

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