How to select a good avocado?

Eating an avocado or aguacate is best when its ripe. Then you’ll really taste the smooth, buttery, and nutty flavour. However, selecting the right avocado for your guacemole or other recipes can be hard, so here’s a small guide on how to select a ripe avocado, how to open it, and how to store it.

Selecting

Press opposite of stem
To see if an avocado is ripe press at the end opposite of the stem of the avocado. Ripe avocados should have a bit of a give to them; it should not be completely soft to touch, but neither too hard. The meat ripens from the stem down, so if it yields a bit when you press the end farthest from the stem, you know that the rest of the avocado is at least as ripe. Check the rest of the avocado as well, because people often manhandle it and you’ll end up buying a squishy avocado. Also important is to find out if an avocado is not overripe. Gently shake the avocado near your ear and if you hear the seed rolling, it’s overripe. Choose another one. Lastly, the avocado should have an even coloured skin all over.

Avocados don’t ripen until picked which is why the avocados sold in supermarkets are often under-ripe. The best thing to do is to buy your avocado 3 or 4 days in advance, and let it ripen at the fruit bowl. In case you need to speed up the ripening process, you can store the avocado a day in a brown paper bag together with some bananas or apples.

Opening

Cut the avocado all the way through in the length and turn the halves in opposite directions. The meat of a good avocado will be light-green of colour. If it’s brown or black it’s rotten. Sometimes you’ll find some brown spots. Just remove these as the rest of the meat will be fine. If the avocado is ripe, you can easily peel the skin now it’s cut open.

Storage

Leave unripe avocados on the counter to continue to ripen. It’s best to eat ripe avocados immediately because the taste will be stronger. However, if you have to, you can keep them in the refrigerator drawer for fresh products to last them several days longer.

If you just use one half of the avocado, save the part with the pit attached, and put a bit of lemon or lime juice on the cut side. Wrap it in plastic foil and keep it in the fridge. You can save it up to 2 days. Cut avocados turn brown quickly, and the lime juice, and plastic foil slow down the browning process.

Guacamole

The ingredients for guacamole

Guacamole is my all time favourite recipe. It’s easy to make, everybody loves it, and it’s very healthy too. Because a good guacamole is all about avocados, make sure you’ve got some ripe ones. If you’re not sure how to select a ripe avocado, read my tips.

Like with all recipes there are a lot of variations of guacamole out there. One is spicy, the other mild, or chunky or smooth. I’ll be sharing the recipe I got from my Mexican roommate when I was living in Mexico City. It’s a mild guacamole, because Mexicans add enough chilli sauce to their food, but you can spice it up with some cayenne pepper if you want.

Of course guacamole contains some of the main ingredients of Mexican cuisine: coriander or cilantro, lime and salt. To be precise, you’ll need:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • juice of half a lime
  • roughly 1 table spoon or to taste of fresh coriander, chopped up
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 (roma) tomato seedless and diced
  • a pinch of salt and pepper

Mash the avocados

Mash the avocado with a fork.

Add other ingredients

When it’s a smooth texture add the onions, tomato, and the coriander. Make sure all the ingredients are mixed properly with the mashed avocados.

Add lime juice

Finish it off with a squeeze of lime juice. Again, mix it well with the other ingredients.

Guacamole and tortilla chips

You’ll end up with a bit of a chunky texture. If you prefer a smooth guacamole, just put all the ingredients in the food processor to chop it up fine. Transfer it into a bowl, and serve the guacamole immediately. It’s as easy as that! I’ve added a big bowl of tortilla chips to dip, but you can also chop up some veggies like carrots to dip or put the guacamole on top of tortillas.

Store your guacamole with plastic foil on top

If you want to store the guacamole for a while you can add some extra lime juice, and cover it with plastic foil. But the tastiest is to eat the guacamole straight after preparing.