How to Choose Avocados

An avocado is a tropical fruit with a unique flavor and texture. Avocados can be used for various purposes, such as for making guacamole, for making homemade beauty treatments and masks, or can simply be enjoyed and eaten on their own. In the United States, avocados are grown primarily in Southern California and Southern Florida. The two states yield dozens of avocado varieties, with the produce being distinctly different depending on the state that they were grown in. Learn how to choose avocados properly, depending on what you will be using them for.


  1. Image titled Choose Avocados Step 1 preview
    Know that there are two major types and producers of avocados in the United States. The produce being offered in your local grocery or market may differ, depending on your geographical location and on the season.
    • California avocados are available year-round, with Southern California produce accounting for approximately 80% of the US avocado market. The most common variety is the Hass avocado, with rough, bumpy skin. California avocados have a rich, nutty flavor and are relatively smaller than their Florida-grown counterparts.
    • Florida avocados are more seasonal, being available only for 8 months of the year, from July to February. The Florida variety grows to about twice the size of their California-counterparts, but are often less costly and offer fewer calories.
  2. Image titled Choose Avocados Step 2 preview
    Determine your purpose for the avocados. If you will need the avocados for an immediate purpose, or for guacamole, you would want to choose ripe, ready-to-eat avocados. However, if you are buying the avocados in advance, you can purchase the firm types, and ripen these at home.
  3. Image titled Choose Avocados Step 3 preview
    Check for the attributes of the avocados that you are purchasing.
    • Ripeness: Hold the avocado in the palm of your hand. Gently squeeze the avocado, being careful not to press with your fingertips, as this can cause bruising. A ripe avocado will be soft and will yield to the gentle pressure, but will not be overly squishy. If it is still hard, then it is still under ripe and will take a few days to ripen. You may still opt to purchase under ripe avocados, and ripen them at home.
    • Look: Choose avocados with unblemished skin. Avocados that are shiny are not yet ripe enough, but again, you can still purchase these and ripen them at home.
    • Color: The color of avocados differ depending on the variety. For California Hass avocados, their color turns dark green or purplish-black as they ripen. Florida avocados, on the other hand, have lighter-green skin with yellowish tone, even when they are ripe.
  4. Image titled Choose Avocados Step 4 preview
    Avoid avocados which are overly soft and mushy, since this would mean that the fruit is too ripe. Other things to avoid when choosing avocados include dark blemishes, brown spots, dents and bruises.


  • To stop the ripening process, store the avocados in the refrigerator.
  • To ripen avocados at home, you can store them at room temperature, and they should ripen over 5 days on average.
  • To speed up the ripening process, place the avocados in a brown paper bag with an apple or a banana.

Article Info

Categories: Food Selection and Storage