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Rotting Avocados

JennyHunter Jan 14, 2007 01:20 AM

What is going on with my avacados? When I get them at the store they are always rock hard. But by the time they feel even a little ripe, they are rotten when I cut into them. This has happened the last 3 times I have purchased them.

I keep the on the counter in my fruit bowl. Is that a mistake?

  1. kare_raisu Feb 5, 2007 07:09 PM

    I was at the Carnceria the other day and the cashier kept on going on and on about the quality of Michoachano aguacates and their superiority when compared to anything we have stateside.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kare_raisu
      Eat_Nopal Feb 6, 2007 05:40 AM

      Avocados in Michoacan are certainly impressive. They have quite a few varieties.... some have an anisey flavor, some a bacon like flavor, others have a the tiniest pit, others are just creamy & buttery. They really know their avocados there.

      Further, in addition to having varieties... there are restaurants that build entire menus around Avocados... including the surprisingly good ice cream.

      Finally, in Mexico you rarely find an unripe avocado.... almost everything you find at the store or market is ready to eat.

      1. re: Eat_Nopal
        coll Feb 6, 2007 06:30 AM

        Sounds like heaven!

        1. re: Eat_Nopal
          kare_raisu Feb 6, 2007 06:33 AM


          This must be why he was discussing these beauties.

      2. Quik Feb 4, 2007 03:18 PM

        I find that if i buy rock hard avocadoes, i let them ripen very slowly in my fruit bin in the fridge. most of the time, they don't have the black rotted insides. if i'm in a rush to use them, i'll take them out and let them ripen on the countertop (near other fruits like apples and bananas btw. it's not intentional, but the other fruit happens to be there). when the avocadoes start to ripen, then i put them BACK in the fridge so they won't turn to mush on me.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Quik
          coll Feb 4, 2007 04:28 PM

          The thing is, this year they're weird and they don't ripen like they used to.

          1. re: coll
            DanaB Feb 5, 2007 02:06 AM

            It depends upon where they are from, and how your vendor has cared for them. Avocados should not be refrigerated before they are ripe. If they are, it dimishes their quality. Avocados should also not be refrigerated when they are ripe, because it also diminishes their quality. This year, the stock of avocados from California got decimated by a freeze, so you are probably getting avocados from Chile. If your produce person has handled them well, then you are good.

            1. re: DanaB
              orangewasabi Feb 5, 2007 09:59 AM

              I'm sorry for the Avocado folks from Ca, but I have to say, the last 2 dozen or so avocados I have bought since the big freeze have been signficantly better than the ones I was getting before the freeze. I'll have to check where they are from -- I thought Mexico, but maybe it IS Chile.

              1. re: orangewasabi
                Eat_Nopal Feb 5, 2007 12:34 PM

                As far as I understood... Avocados had a quota on them (even as part of the NAFTA agreement).... it must have been temporarily lifted to address the market shortage?

                1. re: Eat_Nopal
                  Eat_Nopal Feb 6, 2007 07:21 AM

                  I was wrong.... Mexican Avocados were banned over fruit fly concerns. They were allowed into states where avocados are not as popular starting in 1997.... not a single case of fruit flies... so in 2007 Mexico can now export Avocados anywhere in the U.S. without quotas. The decent avocados were are seeing in the last month are probably from Mexico.

                  1. re: Eat_Nopal
                    DanaB Feb 6, 2007 12:03 PM

                    The avocados we've been getting at my supermarket in Los Angeles are clearly marked that they are from Chile. This is not to say that other places around Los Angeles or elsewhere in the Country are not carrying Mexican avocados, which I agree, can be a superior product.

        2. e
          ExercisetoEat Jan 25, 2007 11:15 AM

          I continually had that problem with store-bought avocados here in the Midwest. Not only would they be black in the middle but often moldy too. They would go from rock hard to rock hard and moldy with no in-between. Finally I gave up and started buying them at a local Mexican grocery store. Not only are they cheap (about $0.60 each) but they always ripen perfectly. I imagine that someone at the store has a connection and ships up the avocados from Latin America rather than California. Now that the freeze killed most of the California crops, I'm definitely going to keep happily buying my avocados from a cardboard box by the cash register, and making ridiculous amounts of guacomole!

          1. HillJ Jan 25, 2007 06:23 AM

            Update: I bought a five pkg of avocados at Costco this week and they are superior! Nice size, excellent color (inside & out) and rippend on my counter w/out incident. Great buy too.

            1. m
              mothrpoet Jan 16, 2007 08:49 PM

              I would say the black problem is due to the cold storage the fruit endured before reaching the market. I have a 100+year old avocado tree, and even when the fruit hits the ground from 30 feet up, when they ripen they are beauties. And, the apple trick works great for me.

              1. DanaB Jan 16, 2007 08:46 PM

                As others have noted, its been a bad year for the California avocado crop, and it's only going to get worse after the freezing temperatures of the past few days. According to the LA Times this morning, many avocado farmers have lost large parts of their crops.

                "Avocado farmers say last weekend was the most damaging in 16 years, since what they called the Big Freeze of 1990 wiped out crops.

                Guy Witney of the California Avocado Commission said the frost could not have come at a worse time for avocado farmers.

                Only 5% of the $350-million crop was picked before this weekend, Witney said, so most of the fruit was still on the trees and vulnerable to the cold. Hardest hit, he said, were the Ventura County regions of Santa Paula Canyon, Ojai and Fillmore.

                Santa Paula Canyon avocado farmer Richard Pidduck said the stems on his avocados have already started turning brown, a sure sign of failure. When the fruit is cut open, dark veins running through it show the first signs of decay."


                Maybe the avocados you've been buying also were exposed to low temperatures?

                1. HillJ Jan 14, 2007 08:07 PM

                  Another ripening trick that I use is to bury avocados in white flour. This works when they are rock hard. They rippen overnight and if I remember to do it, I can enjoy them more often.

                  1. j
                    jacquelyncoffey Jan 14, 2007 08:01 PM

                    Try putting them on the counter away from any other fruits or vegetables. I tried the "quick ripen method" with an apple in a brown paper bag with 4 avocadoes. They stayed hard forever, so I finally cut into them anyway and all of them were black and ruined, although they were still firm. Maybe the best thing is to plan ahead and just let them ripen naturally

                    1. seattledebs Jan 14, 2007 01:51 AM

                      Yup, I've also heard this and found it to be true. Apples and other fruit seem to make avocados ripen quickly.

                      In fact, a woman I met at a grocery store once told me specifically that if you need a hard avocado to ripen, stick it in a brown paper bag with an apple overnight.

                      1. t
                        tartetatin Jan 14, 2007 01:36 AM

                        I have heard that apples in close proximity to other fruits speed up their ripening process. Has anyone else heard this or was I dreaming?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tartetatin
                          dmarkle Jan 14, 2007 01:58 AM

                          Absolutely. A lot of fruits do this. Bananas may be the worst offenders, but apples sure are too. They give off ethylene gas as they ripen, which itself is a ripening agent. That's why bananas ripen faster when you confine them to a bag.

                        2. pikawicca Jan 14, 2007 01:34 AM

                          This has been a bad year for Haas avocadoes from California -- the weather has not cooperated. Sametimes this happens and Mother Nature trumps agribusiness. Note, however, that just because the avocado is discolored, it's not bad. It's not pretty, but still tastes good.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: pikawicca
                            JennyHunter Jan 14, 2007 01:35 AM

                            Really? It is still going to tsate good? Part of the avacado was litterally almost black. It's not just a little speckled.

                            1. re: JennyHunter
                              pikawicca Jan 14, 2007 01:48 AM

                              I was getting so many unsightly avocados recently that I took the plunge and ate a very blackish one. Tasted fine. The determinging factor for me is feel: if the fruit is really soft in the store, I won't buy it.

                              1. re: JennyHunter
                                MMRuth Jan 14, 2007 11:56 AM

                                I've been having the same problem - both in NYC and in NC over the holidays - the black specklies - and to me, it tasted horrible - just not worth the calories etc. I store mine on the counter and if they are ripe before I'm ready to eat them, I put them in the fridge. I think in this instance, it's as someone else said - I problem with the avocados themselves.

                                1. re: MMRuth
                                  coll Jan 14, 2007 07:48 PM

                                  I've noticed that all avacadoes around here are really cheap AND labelled "ripe". Usually you pay more for ripened, so something weird is going on. And yes, they don't ripen correctly at all.

                              2. re: pikawicca
                                Eat_Nopal Jan 16, 2007 08:10 PM

                                It has been a been year for avocados. I am confused... now that tariffs on subsidized American corn have phased out on the Mexican side vis a vis NAFTA, I don't know why we aren't getting Mexican avocados???

                              3. HillJ Jan 14, 2007 01:22 AM

                                Sounds like a bad batch. I'd return them for a refund and keep an eye out for a new shipment.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: HillJ
                                  JennyHunter Jan 14, 2007 01:28 AM

                                  I know I should return them - but it seems like such a hassle. I just get mad and throw them all away!

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