Avocados 101 … How to Choose the perfect one

avocado

This tasty fruit has made it’s way into the everyday American household. I’m sure you have all heard of its AMAZING benefits, therefore, it’s only right that I add my 2 cents and give you tips to choosing the perfect one. (Note: if you don’t know the incredible healthy benefits of avocado, I suggest that you get on Google immediately!) … Now, I’ve been eating these things since birth. Here are a few quick facts to know:

  • There are different types of all avocados… all are healthy
  • The size, color, and even texture varies depending on country and region of origin
  • Avocados can be eaten a variety of ways and lends itself to bold flavors since it’s own flavor is pretty mild
  • If you don’t like avocados then it’s probably the texture that throws you off.
  • *Note: if you like avocados but have texture issues, avoid heating it. It will only get worse. [confession: I only eat avocados cold or at room temperature. Warm avocados lose their essence for me.]

So now you’re in the grocery store shopping for avocados to recreate that salad you just had last night or to make fresh guacamole. How the hell do you pick the perfect one?

  1. A hard avocado is NOT ripe. You can buy it sure, but you wont be able to eat it for 1-3 days.
  2. BEWARE of the label “Ripe when soft”… while this is true, an avocado that is too soft will certainly yield black insides (photo below)
  3. A perfect avocado will be soft yet medium. There will be an undertone hardness to it. (We want this!) What we don’t want is a rock hard avocado …
  4. Think of it like this… “If I throw the avocado down the grocery aisle and it bounces like a baseball would”… Then it’s not ripe. Now, “If I throw the avocado the avocado and smashes once it hits the ground.” … Then it’s perfect. Lastly, “If it’s mush in my hand like a basketball or soccer ball that needs air,” then it’s too soft and over ripe.

Below is a chart, I borrowed from the Internet. Hopefully this makes some sense to you.

avocadoripestagesThis chart suggests that you go by color, which you can do. However, I feel the avocado out with my fingers. It’s a better judgement. Nonetheless, this chart helps when choosing Hass avocados. Remember, when I mentioned not all avocados are created equally? I grew up eating Caribbean avocados, which are massive in size and bright green. They look like mini melons. These don’t change color. In fact, they remain the green color of the first avocado pictured in the chart. Therefore, this chart won’t help in that case. When choosing these avocados, firmness and softness is everything. Have no fears… you’re local grocery will more than likely have Hadd avocados. They are the more popular ones.

Steer clear from this… avocadooverripeThis is an over ripe avocado. It was probably too soft. *Note: a firm avocado can look like this. It can be a crap shoot sometimes.

Quick Avocado Tips:

  • To avoid them from changing color once you’ve cut them, add lemon or lime juice
  • Perfect salad: salt and lime/lemon juice. Garlic powder & red pepper flakes optional.
  • You made the mistake/didn’t have a choice and purchased an unripe avocado? … No problem. Just place the avocado in brown paper bag, seal it, and let it set for a day or two. (Check it after a day)… and you’ll see it ripen like magic! This trick also works for mangoes and green plantains that you want to sweeten.

Enjoy! Hope this helps you understand avocados a bit better!

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