Did you know that avocados do not ripen on the tree? They ripen or “soften” after they have been harvested. Although skin colour can help in the initial visual selection of avocados it is not always the best indicator for ripeness. Also, it is different for different varieties.
When comparing avocados, check the outside colour of the skin of the avocados for any that are darker in colour than the others. Especially with the hass variety, these are riper than 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.
Place the avocado in the palm of your hand. Gently squeeze the tip around the stalk, without applying your fingertips as this can cause bruising.
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 over-ripe.
Note: Ripe avocados that yield to gentle pressure should be eaten within a day or two. Unripe, firm or green fruit can take four to five days to ripen at room temperature. Or put them in a paper bag with an apple or banana to stimulate ripening. When an avocado begins to yield to gentle pressure, place it in the refrigerator to slow the ripening process.