How to pick an avocado at the grocery store?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question ‘ How to pick an avocado at the grocery store?’. We will learn about the signs and characteristics that help tell a ripe avocado from a raw avocado.

How to pick an avocado at the grocery store?

Avocados ripen only after harvesting. Therefore they are picked before they get a chance to soften. Interestingly, they are Dark green in an unripe state but change to purple-black as they ripen. The appearance is one of the ways that helps to narrow down your avocado selection process. 

However, this is not your final answer, as avocado is a fascinating fruit. Its color is not always consistent with its ripening status. In other words, the avocado may be dark and visually seem ripe, but the interior has not changed at the same pace as the skin of the avocado has. 

Avocado provides us with Vitamin E, potassium, and natural oils. It helps to lower cholesterol, prevent heart diseases and cancer.

Maturity versus Ripening

Avocados are seasonally harvested; after having matured on the tree.  Maturity is attained when the avocado is still a part of the tree. After itis plucked off, the ripening process begins. Therefore the harvesting process is very crucial, and a slight mistake can deem the Avacado inedible.

It is now up to us to make the right decision when we bring this vegetable home from the store.

The Mexican Hass Avacado


 Also, some avocados such as the Hass Avacado stay a greenish-brown exterior even after ripening. The Green Hass Avacado will become ripe in three to four days at room temperature. Green and brown freckled Hass Avacado will stay for a couple of days. 

Other FAQs about Avocado which you may be interested in.

Are avocado seeds poisonous? (+5 facts)

How long for an avocado tree to produce? (+5 steps)

How long does it take for an avocado fruit to grow?

Immature Avacado vs Raw Avacado 

An immature avocado has a rubbery texture, and concave pockets or flesh pressed toward the inside, while a bumpy bright green skin is an indication of unripeness. It will be discolored and shriveled.

Also, if the avocados are stored at temperatures below 40 F, the avocado skin is dark and the flesh is discolored.

Shape and Texture

A desirable avocado has big bulges at the top and the stem round with a thin seed coat.

When you have assessed the avocado color, now you need to feel the texture. First, watch out for bruises that indicate the health of the avocado. A bumpy bright green skin is an indication of unripeness. However, species like zutano and fuerte will not lose their green color even after ripe. 

The Palm Test

Hold the avocado in the palm of your hands and squeeze it very gently. Now analyze the firmness of your avocado using the criteria mentioned below.

Stem Test

Flick the avocado stem off the fruit. A ripe avocado will lose its stem and expose a green area. However, if the stem stays on it is under-ripe and if it shows a brown color then it is overripe.  

Raw Avocado

If the avocado feels firm rather than soft, this indicates that it still has four to five days to ripen.  If you don’t intend to consume them sooner than that, then you can store them at room temperature until they are ready to be eaten. 

Nearly-ripe Avocado

A breaking- avocado will be softer but resistant to the squeeze test. The breaking stage is not concluded by its color only. The inside of the avocado will be firm and not mashable. A near-ripe avocado lasts for 1-2 days at room temperature.

Ripe Avocado

Let’s talk about avocados that are ready to be served. Applying firm gentle pressure on the fruit will feel soft but not mushy either. It can be consumed the same day or stored in the fridge to prevent spoilage. A ripe avocado will also have a pleasant and sweet smell.

Overripe Avocados

An overripe avocado is not only soft but mushy as well. When you squeeze it, it will leave a large indentation on the avocado skin. Visually, the fruit may have irregularities such as indentations, bruises, and marks. Moreover, a sunken or flat area that feels soft on avocado is an overripe indicator.

Do not buy an avocado that has dark blemishes.

A spoilt avocado will smell rancid. This is a sign of microbial spoilage. A chemical odor means that oxygen or microbes are starting to break down the oils.

The inside is dark yellow or brown and smells rancid. The flesh inside is also dark and stringy. 

You can also find some overripe avocados to have a mold on them. The mold can be white or gray with a fuzzy appearance. Mold on the skin gradually grows inside and makes the avocado inedible. 

In this brief guide, we answered the question ‘ How to pick an avocado at the grocery store?’. We also learned distinctive characteristics that help to tell a ripe avocado from a raw avocado.