Home Chef How-To: Select a Perfect Avocado

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The story of the avocado reads much like a Greek tragedy. Enthusiasts of this creamy, dreamy, loaded-with-good-for-you-fat fruit know the extreme joy of landing a perfectly ripe specimen, and the palpable sorrow of arriving home from the store to find you’ve unwittingly purchased a dud.

We at Home Chef love avocados, but you may have noticed that they don’t star in our boxes often. That’s because – magical as they are – they’re not the best travelers. Does that mean we don’t want you to smother your Home Chef meals with avo? Heck no! We’d just prefer you get yours as fresh and local as possible.

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1. Look at the skin. If it’s completely brown and has little-to-no green sheen on the skin, chances are, it is either ready to use right this second, or it’s past its prime (never fear, though, overripe avos are awesome in puddings and smoothies, like this drool-worthy recipe).

To that end, here are some foolproof tips for selecting the ever-elusive “perfect avocado.”

2. Feel It. Yes, you have to feel the avocado. In the palm of your hand, feel the firmness of the fruit. Is it super hard? If so, it has a way to go in ripening. Is it easy to squish? It may be past its prime. If it’s somewhere in between, you’re on your way to perfection town.

3. Under the button. Take a peek under the dry little button on the stem end (it’s okay – the “button” should pull away easily). If it’s green, then you will be rewarded with a perfect avocado. If it’s brown, then you will find a brown slimy mess inside.

4. Hasten the ripening. What if you’ve purchased an avocado that’s firm, super green, and needs more time to ripen, but you only have a day? Add the avocado and either a tomato, apple, or banana to a paper bag to slowly hasten the ripening over a day (the gasses from any of those fruits will speed up the ripening of the avocado).

If you only have a few hours? Check out this video on how to speed ripening in just 15 minutes using the gentle heat of your oven.

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