I always had the worst luck when picking avocados. I thought I had a good pick at the store, but when I got home and cut them open, they were always too hard or so ripe they had started to mold. It wasn’t until I went to a local sushi store (homemade sushi is so much fun!) that I was taught how to pick the perfect avocado every time! The owner of the store was an “all things sushi” expert, including avocados, as they are found in a number of sushi rolls.
He explained what to look for when hunting for good avocados, and I haven’t picked a bad one since!
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Step 1: Skin Coloring.
The first thing you’ll want to look at when comparing avocados is the skin. The darker the skin (more of the blackish color, rather than the light/bright green), the more ripe the avocado generally is. If you are planning on using your avocado the day you buy it, you’ll want to pick one with dark skin. If you won’t be using it for a few days, pick a lighter skin and it will ripen/darken with time.
Step 2: Squishiness.
The softness of an avocado is a big factor in determining ripeness. Put your avocado in the palm of your hand and give it a gentle squeeze. A ripe avocado should be firm but slightly squishy. If it’s too hard, your avocado is not ripe. On the other hand, if it has too much give, it’s overripe.
Step 3: Check for bruises.
Like all fruits, avocados can get bruised when bumped or dropped. Look for any indentations in the skin or for extremely soft stops. These may be areas where the avocado has been bruised.
Other Tips and Tricks:
Storage. If your avocados are ripe and ready-to-eat but you aren’t planning on using them for a few more days, place them in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process. Unripe avocados can be left on the counter at room temperature to slowly ripen.
Once cut, it’s best to eat your avocados as soon as possible. Like on apples, lemon juice can be used to slow the browning process. If you are only going to use half of your avocado, leave the seed/pit in the half you aren't using and keep it in a ziploc in the fridge. It may turn a little brown (like an apple), but significantly less with the seed in.
Our local sushi/avocado expert also gave us some great tips for different ways to easily cut and slice your avocados!
Cut your avocado in half and cut slices with a sharp knife in each half before removing the skin. Then remove the skin with a spoon.
For removing the pit. Once the avocado is halved, whack your knife into the pit until it sticks. Then give it a slight twist and the pit will easily pop out.
Mashed avocados (aka guacamole).
Cut your avocados in half and remove the pit. Then push your avocado halves through a cooling rack into a bowl. This will break your avocado into little pieces that are easily smash-able.
What are YOUR tips and tricks when using avocado?!?!