Avocados do not ripen on the tree. They ripen or “soften” after they have been harvested. Hass avocados change from a dark-green colour to a deep purple/black when ripe but sometimes the colour is not a good indication of ripeness.
So what can you do when you’re buying avocados to be sure you get them when they are just right to eat?
Your supplier won’t be pleased if you squeeze the avocados to check for softness as the ones you reject will be spoiled for other customers.
So here are two ways of testing an avocado for ripeness
- Gently shake the avocado close to your ear. If you hear a rattle and the flesh seems soft, then this avocado is probably overripe. The rattle tells you that the inner pit has pulled away from the inside of the flesh once the fruit becomes overripe It might be ok to eat now but don’t expect it to keep well.
- A less obvious way to test for ripeness is to check the colour of the skin under or close to the stem. If it is green or yellow that means the avocado is good to eat as soon as you buy it. If the skin under the stem is brown than it is likely the avocado will have dark spots inside. It will be edible but may not look good on a salad. If the stem is really tight then the avocado probably won’t be ready to eat for a few days. It will ripen but don’t buy it if you plan to use it that same day.