Picking a great avocado can be difficult if you don't know what to look for. Avocados, unlike many other types of produce, only ripen after they are harvested. Since it's difficult to determine how long it takes for avocados to get from tree to store, many avocados can get to the market overripe or can easily become so as they sit unsold in the aisles. With these helpful tips, you can pick great store avocados without having to deal with the guesswork!

What does the perfect avocado look like?

  • Color: Depending on the variety, a perfectly ripe avocado will be either dark green or black. Lighter green avocados tend to be younger.
  • Firmness: Ripe avocados will have a slight give under pressure, but still retain their firmness. (For a more tangible example, lightly press your finger against your forehead. Now, lightly press the top of your nose. The give of a perfectly ripe avocado should be somewhere in between).

Buying and Storing Tips

  • The very best way to ensure that you buy a perfect avocado is to buy one that's very hard and unripe and simply let it ripen at home. Put it in a paper bag at room temperature and it should ripen in 2-5 days. If you're really impatient, you can throw a ripe apple into the bag! The ethylene gasses emitted by the apple should help speed the ripening process along.
  • If you need the avocado right away, remember to be gentle when you handle them at the store to be considerate of others.
  • Consider what you're cooking!  If you need clean slices of avocado, a perfectly ripe pick is more important, but for something like guacamole, an overripe avocado will still perform well and will be very easy to mash!
  • If your avocado ripens too early for your liking, you can put it in the fridge to help slow down the ripening process.

Here are a few Yummly avocado recipes you can try for yourself!

[Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salsa

Corn, Tomato, and Avocado SalsaGuacamole Soup


[Asian Spinach Salad with Orange and Avocado

Asian Spinach Salad with Orange and Avocado