Ripening a California Avocado
- To ripen a California Avocado, place the fruit in a plain brown paper bag and store at room temperature 65-75° until ready to eat (usually two to five days)
- Including an apple or banana in the bag accelerates the process because these fruits give off ethylene gas, a ripening agent
- Soft ripe fruit can be refrigerated until it is eaten, but not for more than two or three days
- The California Avocado Commission does not recommend using a microwave to accelerate the ripening process
Handling California Avocados
As with any food preparation, begin by washing your hands in hot, soapy water and be sure to dry them with a clean paper towel. To avoid cross-contamination from raw meat, poultry or eggs, always disinfect your cutting surfaces and utensils. Thoroughly wash the fruit before you slice it.
Cutting and Peeling a California Avocado
Use this simple three-step process:
- Start with a ripe avocado and cut it lengthwise around the seed. Rotate the halves to separate
- Remove the seed by sliding the tip of a spoon gently underneath and lifting out. The other common seed-extraction method - striking the seed with a knife and twisting - requires some skill and is recommended for professional chefs only
- Peel the fruit by placing the cut side down and removing the skin with a knife or your fingers, starting at the small end. Or simply scoop out the avocado meat with a spoon. Be sure to sprinkle all cut surfaces with lemon or lime juice or white vinegar to prevent discoloration
Storing or Freezing California Avocados
Ripe fruit can be stored in the refrigerator uncut for two to three days. To store cut fruit, sprinkle it with lemon or lime juice or white vinegar and place in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. If refrigerated guacamole turns brown during storage, discard the top layer.
When you have an abundance of fresh avocados, consider freezing them. Pureed avocados freeze very well and can be used in salads, sandwiches and dips.
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- Wash, seed and peel the fruit as described above
- Puree the flesh, adding one tablespoon of lemon juice for each two pureed avocados. Pack the puree into an air-tight container, leaving 1 inch of headspace
- Seal and label the containers
- Freeze and use within four to five months