Cinco de Mayo will be here in tres dias so here’re a few tips to make sure your avocados are good to go for Saturday’s fiesta.
•Avoid avocados that appear (feel) ready to eat. They were probably part of some kid’s grocery store floor hockey game before you got there. They may be bruised, not ripe. (Ever peel a “ripe” avocado and see black pockets? Those are bruises!)
•Avocados ripen off the tree, so buy them rock hard. In two to three days they’ll be perfect.
•I ripen my avocados nestled in a bowl full of apples. The apples give off ethylene gas, so it speeds up the ripening time just a bit.
•It drives me nuts when I see people squeezing avocados… that’s why they feel “ripe” before they’re ready: too much handling. Instead, try to flick off the small stem (my kids call it the belly button) with your fingernail. If it comes off easily, and you can see green underneath, it’s ready.
•Oh… and don’t buy an avocado if someone else removed the little stem end before you. Rot can set in at the bit of flesh that is exposed.
•Hass (or Haas) avocados go from green to almost purply black when they are ripe.
•If you like the bigger Fuerte avocado, they should have a pale green, smooth skin. The stem end should yield slightly when squeezed gently (augh! squeezing again!).
•Ripe avocados can be stored at room temperature for about 2 days and in the fridge for a week (mine NEVER last that long).
Now, go on out and celebrate! (And find something else to squeeze besides the avocados… how about a couple of limes for your Margarita… or your date!)