The avocado, a fruit indigenous to the South of Mexico and the North of South America, has grown in popularity around the United States in the last 10 years. No longer are avocados only used to make guacamole: they are put on sandwiches and hamburgers, served in salads and casseroles.
But no matter how you decide to use an avocado, it is helpful to know when said avocado is ripe.
A ripe avocado is relatively firm, but will yield to gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. Color cannot always be trusted to determine whether or not an avocado is ripe. Indeed, the squeeze test is the most accurate.
If you plan to use avocados immediately, buy ripe ones. But if you want to buy them a few days before you plan to use them, you can buy them when they are hard and do not yield to squeezing. Then just set them out in a cool place and wait for them to get ripe.
But what if you want them to get ripe faster? A good trick is to put the avocados in a brown paper bag. Putting an apple in the bag with the avocados speeds the process even more.
Once you do cut into an avocado you want to eat it as quickly as possible. Avocados will quickly brown when exposed to air, even if refrigerated. You can just skim the brown layer from the surface of the avocado and make use of the rest. But a good way to stop browning is to sprinkle lime or lemon juice over the avocado (especially in guacamole form). Another good technique is to put the avocado seed in the bowl with your guacamole.
Enjoy those avocados.