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Old 02-14-2006, 07:00 AM   #1
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Avocado woes

Have bad luck with avocados. Most of the time I get lemons -- I mean, not good quality all throughout. Sometimes I wait for them to ripen forever, then when I open them, they have mushy, over-ripe parts and also tough, under-ripe parts, all in one fruit. I've simply thrown out quite a few already. Occasionally I'm lucky and get one that ripens quickly and is so creamy all over. But this is rare. The next one in the same batch is a lemon again

They're all pretty expensive too (imported from Australia or New Zealand) so grrrrrr everytime I throw them out.

Are there tips on choosing good avocado? is there a season for this fruit? Is there a time of year when one should avoid them? Thanks!

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Old 02-14-2006, 07:22 AM   #2
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We also can only get imported ones in Italy, they cost something like 1€ a piece, so have to be very careful about picking a good one so as not to waste anything. We look for a bright green skin, free of any blackish patch, not rock hard but not too soft, if you squeeze it lightly with your finger it would ever so slightly yield. The rock solid ones can sometimes stay that way and just shrivel up instead of maturing while we wait for it to soften. So that is the reason we look for a piece that came at least to a certain softness. Also the black patch on the skin means overripeness as well as bruising, so we also look for a nice uniform shade with also certain firmness. And if the vendor won't let you touch and examine the fruit with your hand, we won't even bother with them!!
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:14 AM   #3
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It depends on the variety of avocado. The main variety that we have here in Australia (the Hass variety) has a black coloured skin. As for the season, once again it depends on the variety.

The best way to test an avocado for ripeness is if the stem end of the avocado yields to soft pressure. However this only tells you when its ripe, not really an issue in the store since retailers like to get them in about 2 days before they ripen. I think it mainly comes from the fact that avocados are not the hardiest of fruits and having to be exported from Australia/New Zealand they are not going to fare the best.

Check out this site about the different varieties that are grown in Australia:

http://www.avocado.org.au/consumers/...ety_checklist/
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:29 AM   #4
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The avocado should just barely "give" to slight pressure. They will be ripe at that point.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:08 AM   #5
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The main thing about avocados is to watch them very carefully THEY decide when they are to be eaten. I've heard that if you want to hurry one along you can put a banana peel in a paper bag and seal it tight and the avocado will ripen faster - I've never done that, but try to get a few in different stages of ripeness - and I've lost a few too. You can always try to root the seed and have a beautiful plant.
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Old 02-14-2006, 03:23 PM   #6
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You can always try to root the seed and have a beautiful plant.
As long as you have a fair bit of patience, I believe it takes 6-8 years for an avocado tree to reach fruit-bearing maturity.
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Old 02-14-2006, 04:17 PM   #7
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Living is So California, I've never had a bad avacado...even when I've picked them myself. I chose a very firm one, if I'm not going to use it for a few days - and let it sit out. I pick a semi-firm one, if I'm going to use it right away. Of course you don't want anything with black spots. If it ripens too early/quickly, on the soft side, make guacamole.
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Old 02-14-2006, 04:20 PM   #8
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You can ripen an avocado by putting it in a paper bag with a banana. The banana peel gives off ethlyne gas which is what naturally ripens them. You can also do this with under ripe bananas. This does work
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:37 PM   #9
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Thanks folks! All the wonderful suggestions can only improve my avocado batting average. (Planting the seed just won't work for me though. Waiting for avocado to ripen is agonizing enough as it is!)
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:52 PM   #10
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Be mindful about where your store them as well. If it's too warm it can cause them ripen too quickly or unevenly.
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