Choosing an avocado seems like a simple enough task but its important to choose a good avocado. The ripeness really affects the taste and the texture of a dish. For guacamole you need soft ripe avocados for a creamy avocado salsa you need very ripe avocados.
How to Know when an Avocado is Ripe
As an avocado ripens it turns from a bright green color to a dull black. The blacker it is is the riper it is.
As an avocado ripens it also will give a little when you squeeze it. Most people give avocados a squeeze on the side but you really should press down on the top of the avocado to see if it gives a little. This is a trick that I learned from a vendor in a one of Mexico’s numerous mercados. I got chewed out for squeezing one on the sides.
Most dishes need a fully ripened but not mushy avocado. Think guacamole, tortilla soup or sopa azteca.
If you are going to use slices of avocado for a garnish you want them to be just to the point of becoming ripe and no more so that will they will hold their shape and not fall apart.
When your avocados have become overly ripe but not yet bad they are best used in an avocado salsa. They have a rich smooth avocado flavor and the texture isn’t important because it is blended.
How to Ripen an Avocado
If you’d like your avocados to ripen faster keep them in a brown paper bag for a couple of days. Never put avocado in the refrigerator. They don’t ripen well and it changes the texture for the worse.
How to Pit an Avocado
Cut all around the avocado lengthwise. Twist the two halfs until the avocado pops open. Hold the avocado half that has the pit in one hand and whack the pit with a sharp knife. The knife will stick in the pit. Just give the knife a little twist and the pit will pop right out.
Try These Recipes that Use Avocado: