An avocado is ripe when it feels a little soft if you gently squeeze it. But far easier: look out for the purple EAT ME sticker, then you can be sure the avocado is ready to eat.
With some fruits it's easy to tell when you can eat them. A banana is ripe when it is no longer yellow. The red of a strawberry says it's time to enjoy me. And an apple is always ready to eat. But what about exotic fruits that might not be so familiar? The avocado, for example, is an exotic that is well on the way to becoming a ‘must eat’ staple on European menus. But it's also an example you have to think about carefully: eat today, or leave it for another few days? So, we present: a one-part EAT ME course: how to become an expert at identifying a ripe avocado...
Knowing precisely when an avocado is ripe will help you avoid disappointment. For example, brown, discoloured flesh when you slice open the avocado. Yuck… and what about when you've already cut into the flesh to discover that it's still rock hard! Help! How do you recognise a good avocado at the point of sale to avoid any disappointments at home?
Avocado with EAT ME sticker
What is the simplest way to become an avocado expert? By choosing one with the distinctive EAT ME sticker of course! An avocado only earns the right to display that purple sticker if it is guaranteed ripe. We make sure of this in our special ripening chambers. The sticker says ‘Ready to Eat’. So there's no need to wait, but you can store the avocado for a while too. In that case, store it in the fridge, to ensure you can enjoy it for longer.
What if there's no sticker?
You can still test the avocado to see if you can eat it straight away. Cradle the avocado in your hand and gently squeeze it against your palm. Caution: do not squeeze with your fingertips, otherwise the avocado will bruise and turn brown. An avocado that feels soft and gives a little is ripe. Does the avocado feel very soft, like a ripe pear? Then don't delay too long before enjoying it. A couple of these softer fruits are ideal to use in a homemade guacamole. Have you picked out an avocado from the display that feels mushy and really soft? It's best to leave it. Or better still, inform one of the shop assistants.
What you shouldn't do…
Don't judge the avocado by its skin colour. Green, brown or almost black: the colour of the skin is not the best indicator of the ripeness of an avocado. And something else you should avoid: removing the stem cap at home. The avocado will start to turn brown sooner. What a waste of such a delicacy!
More about avocados
Curious about this increasingly popular ingredient in more and more recipes? Check the EAT ME product page.