HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Avocado help please!

Angelina Sep 15, 2007 04:32 AM

When I buy avocados, am I suppose to use them the same day? I bougt a Haas Avacado on Wed. and when I went to slice it up to put in a salad on Friday, it was all brown and gross. The avocado itself was not that soft, but I have no luck with them.

Should I refrigerate them?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. h
    HillJ RE: Angelina Sep 15, 2007 04:38 AM

    Angelina, buy avocados under ripe and don't refrig them
    When the NJ weather is humid they will brown over ripen fast
    The brown bag rippening tip or burying a Haas in flour for an hour will ripen avacados fast.

    I tend to purchase Haas nearly rock hard rather than take a chance on over ripening.
    Lime juice can prevent some browning but they are tricky to store for more than a day once cut open.

    1. NYchowcook RE: Angelina Sep 15, 2007 06:21 AM

      Generally avocados are sold underripe, so you have to wait a day or 3 until they're slightly soft. I leave them on the counter, and then if I'm not going to use on the day they're ripe, I refrigerate to hold them for a day or two.
      I find that if I buy supermarked avocados, I have the same problem you do, that when I cut them open they're rotten. I buy at my food coop where turnover is fast and maybe there's something in the handling, but they're always fine.

      2 Replies
      1. re: NYchowcook
        MMRuth RE: NYchowcook Sep 15, 2007 06:26 AM

        I refrigerate them as well when they are ripe and I'm not using them that day.

        1. re: NYchowcook
          HillJ RE: NYchowcook Sep 15, 2007 06:45 AM

          Gee, our fresh markets store avocados in large qtys. Pick thru them and you'll find rock hard to nearly mushy all mixed together in the same produce area. It would be helpful if they separated the very ripe from the "new arrivals."

          Like a tomato or banana, our preference is to let a fruit ripen at room temp and only move it to frig if there are leftovers.

        2. Spiritchaser RE: Angelina Sep 15, 2007 06:35 AM

          This is by no means a scientific explanation but this is what always workd for us (we get avacados a lot). The besy sign has been skin color as opposed to feel. If the skin is already uniformly brown it past it's prime. If it is bright green then it is still very under ripe. If it is dull green but not brown this is a ready to eat one. Also, if you use your index finger and give a little push on the bottom if there is no give then under ripe but if it has just a little give without feeling soft it's a ready to eat one.

          Great simple recipe for avacados - 1 avacado, peel, cut into quarters the long way and then cut those into 1/2 thick chunks. 1 tablespoon good olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, kosher salt, pepper. Put avacado in a bowl, salt and pepper (enough to see it), pour lemon juice, drizzle olive oil. Eat with a fork or you can spread it on a chip (but it's not a dip).

          1. lollya RE: Angelina Sep 15, 2007 06:38 AM

            funny...i usually know mine are ready when i can easily pop out the little nubbin at the one end. :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: lollya
              HillJ RE: lollya Sep 15, 2007 06:47 AM

              lollya, unless the nubbin is missing :) that's a great tip!

            2. Angelina RE: Angelina Sep 15, 2007 09:50 AM

              Thanks everyone!! I will try it again!

              1. Veggo RE: Angelina Sep 15, 2007 10:37 AM

                My experience from 1000 tries in N and S America:
                1) The shiny waxed ones have circumnavigated the world on slow trucks, rails, and boats to look pretty in your market, all the while rotting from within on these steamy vessels. "Wax" means simply "we have a long, hot road ahead".
                2) If the "nubbin" is either absent or can be snapped off with the diminutive flick of a hangnail, it is already filled with the airborne catalysts to accelerate the rotting process.
                3) Most avocados in your market's bin have been fondled more than Anna Nicole Smith.
                4) Plan ahead. Get the firm ones in the back of the bin. If you are a short person, beckon some tall gringo like me to do your reaching; I'm always happy to help. They may need 3 days of nurturing.
                5) If you are buying avocados "para hoy" (for today) 30% will be unusable, so buy plenty of extra and hope for the best.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Veggo
                  Gio RE: Veggo Sep 15, 2007 10:42 AM

                  I really enjoy reading your descriptive posts, Veggo. Thanks for the visuals.

                  1. re: Veggo
                    C. Hamster RE: Veggo Sep 15, 2007 10:49 AM

                    The "nubbin" test really is a good indicator most of the time.

                    1. re: Veggo
                      MysticYoYo RE: Veggo Sep 15, 2007 10:55 AM

                      I don't care for the Haas avocados; I usually have bad luck with them despite the firmness or skin color; they are always black inside. I prefer the large, smooth skinned ones I see all time in supermarkets here in Florida.

                      My favorite recipe is similar to the Spiritchasers: Cube avocado into large, bite size chunks in a glass bowl. Add a couple of Roma (aka "plum") tomatoes cut into rounds. Add 2-3 thinly sliced scallions and a couple cloves of finely minced garlic. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Drizzle with a good quality virgin olive oil and toss gently. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Toss gently once or twice more and let it marinate at least an hour. My mother always called this "Avocado Salad". Serve with crusty rolls.

                      Bonus: At the bottom of the bowl will be a delicious sludge (for want of a better word!) of avocado, olive oil and seasonings that you can mop up with the rolls. HEAVENLY.

                      You want to use only Roma tomatoes in this recipe; the size and flavor are perfect for this dish. Larger tomatoes will leach out too much liquid and will make the salad watery.

                      Oh, one more thing: When making guacamole, putting the pit into the bowl with the prepared guac will delay browning. I got that tip from Rachael Ray of all people and it really works.

                    2. pikawicca RE: Angelina Sep 15, 2007 10:55 AM

                      For whatever reason, this seems to have been a pretty bad year for avocados (bad weather in CA?), especially earlier in the summer. Buy them underripe and use when you get some give with a little squeeze.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: pikawicca
                        HillJ RE: pikawicca Sep 15, 2007 11:16 AM

                        Yes, I remember a slew of newspaper and industry trade reports that this was a bad year for avocados.

                        1. re: HillJ
                          torty RE: HillJ Sep 15, 2007 03:44 PM

                          And I was thinking it was a pretty good year. My major chain grocery store in So Calif. has them for between $1 and $1.50 a piece and I have had maybe one yucko out of 50 (avacado is my preferred bread spread). These are Haas which I prefer to any other. I buy them when they are less than rock hard. If I think they are definately ripe I put them in the fridge. If they need a day or two I put them in a ceramic soup tureen with a lid. Maybe the storage and transport is the problem.

                          1. re: torty
                            HillJ RE: torty Sep 15, 2007 03:47 PM

                            In NJ I can get avocado for .99 at the market but the quality has been inconsistent. I wouldn't dream of putting a ripe fruit in the frig, it just brown more and gets watery (imho). Rock hard I leave to rippen on the windowsill. But to his/her own! Thanks for the above recipes too!

                            1. re: HillJ
                              Gio RE: HillJ Sep 15, 2007 06:14 PM

                              Wild Oats market in our area generally has Hass avocados for .99/ea too. I love them. The larger Florida ones cause an allergic reaction that actually frightens me, but the Hass do not.

                              It's quite OK to put them in the fridge after they have ripened but they should be used within 2 - 3 days. They are easy to freeze too - and keep for several months. Remove the skin and pit, puree the flesh with a couple of teaspoons of lemon or lime juice. Pack in an air tight container. Curiously, slices or halves seem not freeze all that well. I wonder why.

                          2. re: HillJ
                            Veggo RE: HillJ Sep 15, 2007 05:16 PM

                            A hard freeze in Dec/Jan destroyed half the Hass crop in CA this year. Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Guatemala, and Mexico happily supplanted our guacamole and aguacate shortcomings, with the customary capitalist vigorish. All's well that ends well.

                        Show Hidden Posts