How to Buy a Good Avocado

Two Methods:Determine RipenessAvocado Varieties

Avocados can be prepared in meals and eaten or used for health and beauty purposes. While there are several different varieties of avocados, Hass avocados are the most common, because they make up about 80 percent of the world's supply and are available year-round. To buy a good avocado, it is important to know about certain features and characteristics of each variety, such as signs of ripeness or taste. Continue reading to learn more about how to buy a good avocado.

Method 1
Determine Ripeness

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    Place an avocado in the palm of your hand.
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    Apply gentle pressure to the avocado with the pads of your fingers.
    • Do not use your fingertips when applying pressure, because it may bruise the avocado.
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    Determine if the avocado yields slightly to the light pressure you apply.
    • Overripe avocados will feel mushy and your fingers may sink into the skin.
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    Examine the color of the avocado.
    • Select avocados without visible, dark blemishes or indentations on the skin.
    • Ripe Hass avocados will range from dark green to black, whereas other varieties may retain lighter green colors.
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    Purchase unripe, firm avocados if you plan on using them in a few days.
    • Unripe avocados can be stored in a paper bag at room temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.33 and 23.88 degrees Celsius) for up to 5 days before they are ripe.
    • Avocados can be stored in a refrigerator until eaten to slow the ripening process.

Method 2
Avocado Varieties

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    Buy avocados based on your flavor preferences.
    • Purchase the Hass, Lamb Hass, Gwen, Reed, or Sharwil varieties if you prefer avocados with a nutty taste.
    • Choose the Bacon and Zutano varieties for avocados that are light in flavor.
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    Choose avocados based on peeling characteristics.
    • The easiest avocados to peel are Pinkerton avocados.
    • The most difficult avocados to peel are Ettinger avocados.
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    Purchase avocados based on their oil content.
    • Avocados with the highest oil content are the Hass, Pinkerton, Sharwil and Fuerte varieties.
    • This buying method may be useful for people who plan to use avocado oil for health and diet or skin and beauty purposes.
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    Learn the specific ripening characteristics of each avocado type.
    • Bacon avocados are oval-shaped with smooth, green skins that will darken slightly when they ripen. They are available from late fall through spring.
    • Fuerte and Ettinger avocados are pear-shaped with smooth, green skins that will stay green when they ripen. These avocados are harvested during late fall through spring.
    • Gwen avocados resemble Hass avocados, but are slightly bigger. They have pebbly green skin that will turn a dull green when they become ripe.
    • Hass and Lamb Hass avocados are oval-shaped and will turn dark green, dark purple or black when they are ripe. Hass avocados are available all year long.
    • Pinkerton avocados are very long and pear-shaped with medium green skin that turns dark green when they ripen. Pinkerton avocados are harvested from early winter to spring.
    • Reed avocados are round-shaped with thick, glossy skin. They retain their medium green color when they ripen and are only available from summer to early fall.
    • Sharwil avocados resemble the Fuerte variety, but are more oval-shaped. Their skin color is yellow-green and becomes all green when they fully ripen.
    • Zutano avocados are shaped like pears and have shiny yellow-green skin that retains their color when they become ripe. These avocados are available from September to the early winter.

Article Info

Categories: Food Selection and Storage