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Aug 7, 2014 10:39 AM

molding avocados?

i've been having a terrible problem lately with avocados. i bring them home totally firm, put them in a paper bag either just with other avocados or a banana (depending how quickly i need them ripe), and then when i go to cut them open, they're moldy. actual fuzz growing on the inside of the fruit!

it's really annoying not only because it usually messes up some lunch or dinner i had planned, but because they're delicious and i want to eat them without getting sick.

has anyone else had this problem? is there a way to avoid it? at least half the time it seems like the mold is getting through the hole in the top where the stem would be, but it seems impossible to tell when purchasing which will have a problem and which won't.

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  1. If you can find any with the stem still on, buy them that way.
    With any produce, if the stem is there, leave it on until you use it, since once it's off, that's a spot for mold and germs to enter.
    I have learned to turn stemless tomatoes stem-side down when storing them on the counter at room temp. This has the effect of sealing off the vulnerable spot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious

      i could have sworn these both had stems on - but one of them must have popped off. anyway, good advice to look for something with a better attached stem.

      interesting about the tomatoes. one of those molded, too, actually. (part of the blame for all this goes to my grocery store, btw...)

    2. In summer just on the counter they will go from firm to perfect in two days in my house. Mane bag is too much

      1. First, where do you live? What's you're climate like?

        I've been eating avocados since I moved to California 40 years ago, and have never seen fuzzy mold on an avocado, either ones from the store, farmers' market, or my tree. They'll get brown, mushy, and saggy if they're overripe, but no fuzz. Stem fragment or not doesn't make any difference: when I pick them off my tree the stems come away.

        I ripen mine by letting them sit on the windowsill for a few days until they give a bit under gentle pressure. They were engineered (thank you, ancient MesoAmericans!) to ripen off the tree.

        3 Replies
        1. re: tardigrade

          i'm in the washington DC area, which is hot and humid in the summer. i'm guessing that's a big part of it. we only have window A/C units, which aren't the most effective at removing humidity from the air (and we leave them off when we're at work). i grew up in california and never had these problems.

          i'm wondering if ripening them on the counter just isn't a good idea here - maybe i should only do halfway and then get them into the fridge to slow fuzz growth. though i don't know how long it would take to ripen them in the fridge (if at all). unfortunately it's pretty hard to find one already ripe here for purchase... they all need a few days in a paper bag on the counter.

          1. re: poochiechow

            Skip the paper bag and let them sit out on the counter. They might take a day longer, but if they don't mold, you actually get to eat them.

            1. re: poochiechow

              The fridge halts all ripening, so only put ripe ones in there.