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Unlocking the Secret to Picking the Perfect Avocado at the Supermarket

The World Avocado Organization shares their top tips for finding the perfect avocado

The avocado, beloved for its creamy texture and rich taste, is a staple in kitchens worldwide, from the brunch classic avocado toast to a plant-based alternative in traditional recipes. However, finding a perfectly ripe avocado at the supermarket can often feel like a daunting task.

The World Avocado Organization is happy to share some tips to help shoppers select the ideal avocado.

Packed with essential nutrients, avocados are a powerhouse of healthy monounsaturated fats, which are known to support heart health by lowering cholesterol levels. They are also rich in fibre, vitamins such as B, E, and K, and potassium, which is crucial for maintaining proper bodily functions. Their versatile yet distinct flavour complements a wide range of dishes, from salads and smoothies to savoury spreads and desserts, making them an indispensable ingredient in both traditional and contemporary cuisines.

So, how do you know when your avocado is ripe?

1. Colour Matters: The first indicator of ripeness is the avocado’s skin colour. For the popular Hass avocado, ripe fruit will have a dark brown colour. Avoid those that still have green skin, as these are likely underripe.

2. Gentle Pressure Test: After checking the colour, perform a gentle pressure test. Hold the avocado in the palm of your hand and apply slight pressure. A ripe avocado will yield slightly but should not feel mushy. If it feels too soft or leaves an indentation, it may be overripe.

3. Check the Stem: The stem or cap can provide a good clue about ripeness. Gently move the small stem at the top of the avocado. If it comes off easily and reveals a green colour underneath, the avocado is ripe. If it’s difficult to remove the avocado is underripe or if it comes off but shows brown underneath, the fruit is overripe.

4. Visual Inspection: Look for any bruises or dark spots on the skin, as these can indicate over-ripeness or damage. While some minor blemishes are normal, avoid avocados with large, soft, or darkened areas.

5. Plan Ahead: If you’re not planning to use the avocado immediately, consider buying ones that are slightly underripe. These can ripen at home over a few days. To speed up the ripening process, place the avocado in a paper bag with a banana or apple. The ethylene gas produced by these fruits will help ripen the avocado faster.

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