ascertaining avocado ripeness

by Diane Lofshult on Oct 01, 2004

Food for Thought

Tired of guessing if that avocado will be ripe or rock hard when you go to use it? Food experts say you should squeeze the fruit to judge ripeness; the flesh should yield to moderate pressure. However, an avocado that feels soft in the store is sometimes bruised rather than truly ripe. To be certain, flick the small stem of the avocado. If the stem falls off easily and you can see green underneath it, the fruit is ripe. If the stem doesn’t come off or if the avocado is brown underneath the stem, it is not ripe.

Stumped as to what kind of avocado to buy? According to The Best Kitchen Quick Tips by the editors ofCook’s Illustrated Magazine(Boston Common Press 2003), the Hass variety—the ones with dark, pebbly skin—tends to be more flavorful and creamier than larger, smooth-skinned types.

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About the Author

Diane Lofshult

Diane Lofshult IDEA Author/Presenter

Diane Lofshult is an award-winning freelance author who specializes in nutrition and weight management topics. She is the founder of In Other Words, an editorial consulting firm based in Solana Beach, California. Reach her at