Pick & Buy Hass Avocados
How to Pick Ripe Avocados, How to Select the Best Avocado, Buying Avocados Before an Event and How to Know When an Avocado is Ripe
How to Know When a Hass Avocado is Ripe
Did you know that Hass Avocados do not ripen on the tree? They ripen or "soften" after they have been harvested. Hass Avocados are unique from some of the other varieties of avocados because they can change from a dark-green color to a deep purplish almost black hue when ripe. Although skin color can help in the initial visual selection of Hass Avocados it is not always the best indicator for ripeness. Ripeness is ultimately determined by pressure, color can sometimes be misleading as avocado "softening" can occur at a varying rate, independent of the color.
Here's how to pick the best Hass Avocados:
Step 1 - Take a look at the chart below. When comparing a group of Hass Avocados, check the outside color of the skin of the avocados for any that are darker in color than the others. These may be riper than Hass Avocados with lighter skin. Check the outer skin of the avocado for any large indentations as this may be a sign that the fruit has been bruised.
Not RipeDays to Ripe: 4-5 View Stage
Almost RipeDays to Ripe: 1-2 View Stage
Ready to EatDays to Ripe: 0 View Stage
Past RipeDays to Ripe: past due View Stage
Firm, unripe Hass Avocados will have a bright green color and will not yield to gentle pressure. Firm avocados are perfect for purchasing a few days (approx. 4 to 5 days) before you plan on serving them to ensure that they will be perfectly ripe and ready to eat by your event. Store these avocados at room temperature (65-75 degrees F). Place in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana if you want to speed up the ripening process.
Hass Avocados that are referred to as "breaking" or almost ripe can vary in color so it is best to go by pressure as well as color. Breaking avocados will have a softer feel but will not quite yield to firm gentle pressure. If cut, the seed will often be difficult to remove and the inside flesh will be firm and difficult to mash. Breaking avocados should take a day or two at room temperature (65-75 degrees F) to ripen.
Ripe, ready to eat avocados may have a darker color but color can vary so it is best to go by pressure as well as color. Ripe fruit will yield to firm gentle pressure. It will feel lightly soft but it will not feel "mushy" to the touch. Ripe fruit is perfect for that day. Store in the refrigerator if you plan to eat it in a day or two to prevent the fruit from becoming overripe or spoiled.
Overripe fruit will feel very mushy to the touch; it may have deep indentations and have darker yellow or brownish colored flesh throughout the inside of the fruit. Spoiled overripe fruit will have a rancid smell that some describe as smelling like "a pumpkin" or "squash-like". For the best eating experience pass on the overripe fruit and enjoy ripe Hass Avocados.
Note: Avocado color does not always indicate ripeness. Ripe avocados will yield to firm gentle pressure
Step 2 - Place the avocado in the palm of your hand.
Step 3 - Gently squeeze without applying your fingertips as this can cause bruising.
Step 4 - Picking ripe ready-to-eat Hass Avocados. If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure you know it's ripe and ready-to-eat. If the avocado does not yield to gentle pressure it is considered still "firm" and will be ripe in a couple of days. If the avocado feels mushy or very soft to the touch it may be very ripe to overripe.
Practice makes perfect - if it's your first time selecting avocados, try choosing a couple of avocados that yield to gentle pressure to see how they differ in taste. Or try purchasing an unripe avocado, checking it every day for 2 - 3 days as it softens. Practice will help you learn what to look for when you're in the store.
How to Buy Avocados Ahead of Time for an Event
Ripe Hass Avocados that yield to gentle pressure should be eaten within a day or two. For events a couple days out, purchase firm avocados instead. Unripe, firm or green fruit can take four to five days to ripen at room temperature, perfect for celebrations that are a few days out. Just be careful to watch the fruit to make sure the temperature in your kitchen does not cause them to ripen too quickly. If they begin to yield to gentle pressure, place them in the refrigerator to slow the ripening process.
For more information on how to speed up or slow down the avocado ripening process or how to ripen Hass Avocados in general, visit our Storing and Ripening page.