How to pick avocado at the grocery store? (3 tips)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to pick avocado at the grocery store?”, discuss in detail the ways to test the avocados for ripeness and the ways to choose the right variety of avocados.

How to pick avocado at the grocery store?

Picking avocado of your right choice at the grocery store can be a frustrating venture. However, certain clues can help you decide which avocado you should pick. Like if you are fond of avocados and their craving can strike you any time, you need to pick some ready-to-eat avocados for now and some harder ones for later. 

3 tips to pick the right avocado

Here are some tips to pick the right avocado of your choice:

Trust your eyes

Avocados are picked before they get a chance to soften and only ripen once they are harvested. Interestingly, they are dark green when unripe and change to purple-black on ripening. So, their appearance can be a way to narrow down the avocado selection process.

Feel the avocados

The firmness of avocados also helps you decide either you should buy them or not. To check the firmness, gently squeeze the avocado. Don’t pick the avocados that have large dents of dark patches on their surface. 

Plan when you want to eat them

If you are going to eat avocado the same day you buy it, pick a ripen one. But if you have planned to eat it some other days, pick a firm one and it will ripen by itself.

Test avocados for ripeness

Testing avocados for ripeness helps you determine either they are to be used early or later or not at all (if spoiled). There are several ways to check the avocados for their ripeness, a few of which are explained below:

Examine the avocado’s color

Testing avocados by looking at their color is not the only way to examine them, but it can help you a lot. Like, ripe avocados are typically dark with hints of green. So, if you want to use the avocado right after getting home, choose one that is dark. If you plan to use one in a couple of days, select a greener one.

It is important to know the type of avocado that you are looking at because some varieties of avocado such as the Fuerte, Ettinger, Reed, and Sharwill stay green when they are ripe.

Examine the avocado’s skin

While checking the skin of the avocado, observe the color of it as well as its texture. The skin should be slightly pebbled, but make sure that there are no large indentations that may indicate the fruit has been bruised.

Examine the avocado’s stem

Flicking the small stem of the fruit is the preferred method for identifying the ripening status of avocado. When flicked, if it comes off easily and you can see green underneath, the avocado is ripe. But if it does not come off easily or you see brown underneath, the avocado is not yet ripe, or it is overripe and therefore unusable.

Squeeze the avocados

Place the avocado in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze. If the avocado gives off gentle pressure then it is ready-to-eat. If an avocado feels firm or hard, it isn’t ripe yet. Purchase it only if you plan to use the fruit several days in the future.

Other FAQs about Avocado which you may be interested in.

How to store unripe avocado?

Can you get sick from eating old avocado?

How to make avocado ripen after cutting?

Choose the right variety of avocados

There are numerous varieties of avocados like the Mexican Hass avocado, Fuerte, Ettinger, Reed, and Sharwill. So, you need to choose the right variety of avocados according to your flavor preference, peeling characteristics, and the oil content of avocados.

Flavor preference 

While all avocados have a similar taste, there are subtle differences in their flavor that may make you prefer one over another. Some have a nutty flavor, while others have a lighter taste.

For instance, Hass, Lamb Hass, Gwen, Reed, or Sharwil avocados have a creamy, nutty flavor. While Bacon and Zutano have a lighter taste.

Peeling characteristics

Some avocadoes are easy to peel, while others require a little more effort to remove the skin. For instance, Pinkerton avocados are the easiest to peel. But Bacon, Fuerte, Hass, and Gwen don’t pose many difficulties either.

If you are in a hurry, purchase avocados that are easier to peel to save yourself some time. If you don’t mind putting a little more work into peeling the fruit, you can opt for any variety.

Oil content

Some varieties of avocado such as Hass, Pinkerton, Sharwil, and Fuerte have more oil in them than others, which means they have a higher fat content.

If you want to maintain a healthy low-fat diet, choose a variety that has a lower oil content.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to pick avocado at the grocery store?”, discussed in detail the ways to test the avocados for ripeness and the ways to choose the right variety of avocados.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.