How To Tell If Your Avocado Is Ripe

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Jul 282017
 

It’s an art, not a science—but there are some tricks

How to Tell If Your Avocado Is Ripe

There are few feelings of disappointment quite like that of slicing open an avocado only to realize that it’s not yet fully ripe or—even worse—gone totally black and rotten. So how can you tell if an avocado is ripe before you’ve cut into it? There are a few signs your avocado is ripe and ready to eat, and once you know what to look for, you’ll improve your accuracy immensely when it comes time to choose a ripe avocado at the grocery store. I should note here that avocados are fickle fruit, and these tips to tell if your avocado is ready to eat aren’t foolproof. But knowing they’ll definitely make it easier to know when an avocado is worth the $2.50 at the grocery store versus when it’s time to just give up. 

So here are the three things you should look for when trying to find the perfect avocado.

Note the Color

The most obvious indicator of an avocado’s ripeness, especially from far away, is its color. If the avocado is bright green and glossy, it’s unripe. You’re looking for an avocado that’s darker in color—almost a hunter green with a more matte finish. But if it’s a deep, dark shade of black, or the fruit has brown, flaky spots, it’s overripe—and the inside of the avocado is probably speckled with black, too.

Squeeze It

Color alone, however, can’t tell you if an avocado is ripe or not. Sometimes, an avocado that looks underripe, with green specks coming through the darker skin, is actually just right. That’s why you need to pick up the avocado and gently squeeze it. As the experts from the Haas Avocado Board explain, “If the avocado does not yield to gentle pressure it is considered still ‘firm’ and will be ripe in a couple of days.” The avocado shouldn’t feel totally mushy, though; the fruit should still have a bit of structure. Be careful not to squeeze too hard, though, because if you do, you will bruise the fruit, and that doesn’t help anybody.

Check the Stem

If you’ve got an avocado in your hands that feels soft enough but not too soft, looks dark enough without seeming rotten—and you’re still not totally sure if it’s ripe or not, it’s time to check the stem. Erica, the Seattle-based food and gardening blogger behind Northwest Edible Life, told The Kitchn that the best way to know if an avocado is ripe or not is to take the little stem off the top of the fruit. “If it comes away easily and you find green underneath, you’ve got a good avocado that’s ripe and ready to eat.” The stem of an overripe avocado will also come off easily, but it’ll look black underneath. Meanwhile, the stem of an underripe avocado will be a challenge to wiggle off.

It’ll take some practice to learn how to pick the right avocado, but at least you’ll be able to make a lot of guacamole until you perfect your technique. If you’re still in doubt about whether your avocado is ripe enough, you should err on the side of buying an underripe fruit. That way, you can ripen the avocado at home instead of having to throw away an overripe one, which is really the ultimate tragedy.

 
 
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How To Take Care Of Cast Iron Pans

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Apr 202017
 

Such an informative video on how to properly care for your cast iron pans!

What’s so great about cast iron?

Cast-iron pans are basically indestructible. Even if they’re old and rusted, they can be repaired. And if you take good care of cast-iron cookware, it can last you a lifetime! Some people in the Tasty kitchen even have cast-iron cookware that has been passed down to them by their parents or grandparents.

You can also cook quite a variety of things in your cast-iron skillet. They’re great for searing meat and roasting veggies, but you can also make a ton of sweet recipes with them. And the more you use cast-iron cookware, the better it gets!

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How To Of The Day: Gut Fish With A Pair Of Chopsticks

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Apr 072017
 

How to gut fish the Japanese way with a pair of chopsticks.

If you need to gut your fresh catch of the day, all you need is a pair of chopsticks. Warning: you will literally see a fish’s guts get yanked out of its mouth.

This gutting method removes fish innards and gills without forcing you to cut it open or remove the head. Take a pair of throw-away chopsticks and insert them into the fish’s mouth past the gills, give the chopsticks a few hard twists, then slowly pull out the innards through the mouth. Rinse the inside of the fish with water and it’s ready to be cooked or frozen for later use.

This fish cleaning method is known as the “tsubo-nuki” technique in Japan, and is popular throughout many parts of Eastern Asia. It’s ideal when you’re serving fish whole or just tossing them on the grill because the body stays intact and keeps its shape nicely while cooking. You also avoid accidentally cutting into the fish’s digestive tract or other organs that may require additional cleaning of the fish.

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