With the ongoing, popular, even fanatic fad over the health benefits of avocados, stores selling them are definitely reaping huge profits. What’s relieving is that this fad is actually true. There is more than sufficient evidence to consume this panacea fruit, also called the butter fruit for its irresistible creamy texture.
As you hustle your way through crowds around the avocado stock at the grocery store and finally make it to a pile of welcoming fruit, you scratch your head and wonder which ones are ripe and which ones are not. What you want is green and creamy on the inside, not disgusting brown slime or a spotted mess. Eating overripe avocados is not only unappealing but unhealthy as well, giving you all the more reason to master your ripe avocado selection process.
There are 4 simple checks you can do to pick a ripe avocados. You will soon know it like the back of your hand.
1. Visual Check
The color of an avocado can vary from light green to dark green to purplish and almost black. The general rule is: the darker, the more ripe. However, color is not a reliable marker for ripeness. Lighter fruits that may seem unripe may actually be ripe on the inside.
Checking for color can help you sort out more ripe fruits from less ripe ones from the visible color gradient in a bunch of avocados. This helps you narrow down the selection process.
Check for dents on the hardy skin of the fruit. Presence of any indentations implies that the fruit is overripe. Dents are easily formed when the fruit is overly soft and squashy, a characteristic of an overripe fruit.
Scan the avocado skin for blemishes. Avoid picking up ones with dark brown spots and bruises.
2. Consistency Check
If there are no dents or blemishes on the skin of the fruit, go ahead and feel the fruit. Hold the avocado in the palm of your hand. Gently apply pressure on the fruit with your palm and fingers. Do not use your fingertips as you may bruise it.
Ripe: If the fruit yields, it is ripe.
Unripe: If the fruits yields only a little or doesn’t yield and holds firm, it is unripe and will ripen in two or three days.
Overripe: If the fruit feels very mushy or soft, it may be very ripe to overripe and must be discarded.
When doing a consistency check, ensure you apply firm gentle pressure all over the fruit and not just near the stem—that’s the part that ripens first. So, while you think the entire fruit is ripe, it may not actually be so.
3. Stem Check
This check gives you a peek inside the fruit, so you know what to expect. If the stem of the fruit is still attached, tug at it. One of two things will happen:
- The stem comes off easily: If you see green flesh underneath, the avocado is ripe and ready to eat. If you see brown flesh, the fruit is overripe and not fit for consumption.
- The stem doesn’t come off easily: This means the fruit is unripe.
4. Smell Check
This is probably the first thing you will do anyway. Smell the avocados before you buy them. As common sense tells you, overripe fruits smell rancid.
And you will have successfully picked out the ripe avocados!
Do A Self Standardization
A good practice is to buy a few unripe avocados (the firm ones) and observe them over a few days. Note their change in color, feel, and even taste. You will soon gain mastery of spotting the ripe ones in a milieu of unripe and overripe ones.
Here are some things you should know about storing and consuming avocados:
- Ripe avocados should be consumed within two days of refrigeration.
- To make dips or sandwich spreads, buy ripe avocados. For salads, a slightly less ripe fruit is apt.
- If you intend to eat the avocados only after 4 or 5 days, say to prepare guacamole for a Sunday brunch, buy unripe ones and store them at room temperature. Depending on how unripe the fruits are when you purchase them and the temperature conditions of where you store them, their speed of ripening will vary. If the fruits ripen prematurely, stall the ripening process by refrigerating them for up to three days.