How to Shop for and Store Avocados

The trickiest produce selection demystified
Understanding Avocados

Joe Quintana of Rosa Mexicano explains how to buy, store and test the ripeness of avocados


Is this avocado ready? We’ll show you how to tell!

There you are, standing in the produce aisle, when another shopping trip comes to a head. You know that you have to buy avocados for your weekend fiesta, and that guacamole is a must, but you are dreading making the selection. After all, you’ve mistakenly thought you purchased the best avocado for your dish before, only to find that it was far from ripe or was already on its way to the food compactor. You could just buy the store-brand guacamole, but that stuff just doesn’t taste like your guacamole. Instead of sacrificing quality, we’ve come up with a guide to help you while you’re shopping.

Put avocados to work with ways they can make you prettier!

1. Firmness
When it comes to avocados, there is a perfect balance of softness that means the avocado is ready for eating. To check for firmness, place the avocado in your hand and gently squeeze to test softness. Avoid using your fingers, as it will cause bruising. You are feeling for a soft inside that yields to gentle pressure.

2. The Color Test
Believe it or not, when your avocados are bright green and very firm, they are not at their ideal shade for ripeness. Buying a green avocado means waiting four to five days to actually be able to eat it — which is great if you are prepping for a scheduled-out dish! 

The next color is the trickiest one to identify, as it is in the "breaking" stage and is very similar to the darker green that indicates ripeness. These avocados are soft by not completely pliable to the touch and will be ready to eat in one to two days.

When an avocado is at its peak ripeness, it will be a nice, dark green shade and will react to gentle pressure. We recommend you use and eat these right away!

Finally, if an avocado is too dark and too squishy, it has already gone bad and should not be purchased.

3. Storing and Using


If you have purchased a perfectly ripe avocado, get to slicing. These puppies will not hold up well and wait for no hungry man. Purchasing them a few days ahead of desired use is completely fine, but just be sure to store them properly. Keep your avocados out of the refrigerator and be sure to store them in a brown paper bag at room temperature. To speed up the ripening process, put an apple or banana in there with it! And conversely, if they ripen too quickly and begin to yield to pressure, place them in the refrigerator to slow them down!