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Kitchen Secrets: What's your best tip for choosing ripe avocados?

We asked Irish home cooks for their best avo advice.

EVERY HOME COOK has their own kitchen hacks, cheats and traditions, and we want to know yours.

Each week as part of our Kitchen Secrets series, we’ll be asking readers to share their cooking tips and go-to-dishes. From the secret to great roast potatoes to the best way to scramble an egg, we’ll have a new question every seven days.

This week, we’re feeling millennial, so we’re asking…

What’s your secret for choosing ripe avocados?

Here’s what some of our readers had to say…

Test for softness…

If there’s a bit of give with pressure it’s good to eat. If there’s air developing under the skin, it’s probably too far gone.

- Alan Carmody

“Holding it in your hand with the narrow end up and the stalk stub facing away from you, place your thumb on the skin and press gently. If the flesh gives slightly its ready to eat.  If it is soft it is over ripe and will have some black streaks in flesh.

- Cathie Hynes
Avocados should be just as soft as the tip of your nose when it is ready to eat! It really works.

- Eileen Costello

Try popping the stalk off

“Just pop the cap off the top of the avo, if it’s green underneath, and comes off easily, chomp away.”

- Eoin O Shea

The stem: this part has many names (peduncle for one – lovely word to speak out loud!) and some like to think of it as the bellybutton of the cado. Regardless of name, its function as a ripen indicator is simple: pick it off and see a brown colour underneath, you are good-to-go! But if you see green, either bring it home and let it ripen, or put it back on the shelf and hope no one gives out to you for harassing the cados!

- Janeen Kirwan

“My tried and trusted tip, works every time.. Pull back the stumpy stem of the avocado, if it’s the green avocado colour in the little nook then it’s ripe and ready!! Enjoy!”

- Sinéad Collins

(For what it’s worth, the consensus online seems to be that green is the colour you want underneath the stalk.)

Source: Stacy Spensley

Use bananas to soften hard avocados

Buy it hard. Put it in a paper bag overnight with a banana. It will be perfect the following morning.

- Paul McK

“I always buy a few avocados when they are still quite hard. Ill leave them in the cupboard out of the heat,and each night ill take out one(or whatever amount of them I think I will use the next day) and leave it beside a bunch of bananas in the fruit bowl. By the next morning they have ripened up just the right amount!”

- Eimear O Shea

And finally… what to do in the nightmare scenario when you’ve badly misjudged your avo? Tony is here to help.

If I mistakenly open an avocado that is deceptively squishy at the base, and turns out to need a chisel to break down, then a bit of lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and a couple drops of cider vinegar help make it more smooshable.

- Tony Heald

Kitchen Secrets: What’s your tip for making perfect poached eggs?>

About the author:

Michael Freeman

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