Possible Duplicate:
What can I do to help my avocados ripen?
How can I choose good avocados at the supermarket?

I live in the UK and have a difficult time getting hold of good avocados.

They are generally of two types in the shop, hard and tasteless or soft and brown. I sometimes try to buy the hard type, after a while sometimes they are good, sometimes they seem not to ripen and others they are rotten by the time they are soft.

They are not cheap either getting on for a £1 each.

I would really like to know:

  • How to choose good ones from the shop? Are there types which ripen well, does the shape or color help determine what will ripen well.
  • How to store while at home? I tend to put in the fruit bowl with Bananas should they be warm or cold in the dark or the light.
  • Are there good stores in the UK for buying them from (possibly too localized|localised?)

3 Answers 3


I usually buy green, hard avocados to use them in a couple of weeks. When I'm looking for an almost ready avocado for my guacamole at the supermarket, I look for a not-so-hard one and pop off the stem: this is a tip I found over the internet and it really works. Pulp under the stem should be greenish and not brown or dark, otherwise it's probably rotten. You can usually find your ready-to-enjoy avocado with a couple of pop offs.

Take a look to this link for a more in-depth explanation about popping off the stem: http://www.nwedible.com/2012/05/never-buy-a-rotten-avocado-again.html

Regarding storage, I put them in a bowl on counter top to let them ripe slowly; in a bag with apples or bananas to speed up things. Once ready, I store them in the fridge. Once opened, I put them in Tupperware: they stay perfectly green.

Keep in mind that if you place fruits near apples or bananas, which naturally produce ethylene, your fruit will generally ripen faster.


Get the hard green ones, and store them in a brown paper bag on the counter top until they ripen. Once ripe, you can hold them at that stage in the fridge for a few days. The sad truth about avocado is that it is nearly impossible to buy one to eat "Right Now!".

Now, that being said, the soft brown-skinned ones are fantastic for guacamole or other creamy avocado based dips/spreads.

  • I agree, it can be hard to buy ones that are edible right now, although we have special (usually extra expensive) ones marked "ready to eat" that are not always, but usually ready to eat. As to using brown/beige ones for guacamole, I have to disagree: I don't like that at all (have tried it several times, out of necessity). I need fresh, green/yellow but ripe avocados for my guacamole!
    – Cerberus
    Commented Aug 29, 2012 at 2:24
  • @Cerberus I think we're not talking about the same brown. I was referring to a brown/black skin (which may or may not be what OP was talking about.) Usually these are ok inside, but you may have to cut off a little bit of brown flesh. Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 17:16
  • Ohh, the skin! I thought you meant the inside. And by "soft" you mean the skin itself, not the ripeness, right? Then it makes sense. I believe these are all different (sub)species, and I think they can all be fine for almost any dish, as long as they aren't over or underripe.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 17:57

Buying avocado in the UK is treacherous: likely they have been treated like potatoes and bounced around insuring bruises once ripened.

Try to get them directly from their packing box. Buy the whole box if necessary and split amongst friends once semi-ripe.

Bury each avocado in a sack of flour about an inch or two surrounding. Store away from high heat and humidity -room temp or cooler is great.

A typical Hass (dark alligator skin pear) will ripen this way in 2 - 5 days to barely fork tender. Closely observed final ripening in fruit bowl til desired tenderness is advised. A few hours can be the difference.

Once ripened, they keep up to 5 days in fridge without darkening. Still, give them support/cushioning to avoid bruises and to absorb condensation.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.