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Avacados 101

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 December 2011 at 15:57
 

Selecting Fresh Fruit

  • When selecting an avocado, look for the Fresh California Avocado Brand, your assurance that the fruit was grown under the best conditions possible.
  • The best way to tell if a California Avocado is ready for immediate use is to gently squeeze the fruit in the palm of your hand. Ripe, ready-to-eat fruit will be firm yet will yield to gentle pressure.
  • Color alone may not tell the whole story. The Hass avocado will turn dark green or black as it ripens, but other varieties retain their light-green skin even when ripe.
  • If you plan to serve the fruit in a few days, stock up on hard, unripened fruit.
  • Avoid fruit with dark blemishes on the skin or over soft fruit.

 

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 reagent.
  • 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 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.

 

Peeling a California Avocado

Use this simple three-step process (picture at top):

  1. Start with a ripe avocado and cut it lengthwise around the seed. Rotate the halves to separate.
  2. 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 not recommended.
  3. 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.

Or, watch as Chef Trey Foshee demonstrates his favorite way to cut and peel a California Avocado:

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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.

  • 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.
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