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I bought some avocados recently, and one of them was rock hard when I tried to cut it. I left it out for a couple days hoping it would ripen, but it didn't help.

What can I do to help my avocados ripen?

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The California Avocado Commission suggestions:

  • 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.
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    +1 thanks! (I'm dumbfounded that there's a California Avocado Commission...) – Dave DeLong Jul 9 '10 at 19:57
  • Does a plastic bag work as well? @DaveDeLong There is also a Mexican avocado commission: avocadosfrommexico.com/about-afm – Chloe Feb 1 '15 at 22:57
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    Like almost every food in existence it's commissions like the California Avocado Commission that made avocado a world wide thing. Without them pushing avocados the world over it's unlikely avocados would be so common. Particular foods getting popular the world over seems like it happens organically. Some person visits another country, tries something, brings it back to their home country and it spreads. But, that's rarely what actually happens. Instead producers form an organization to promote their food in any and every way possible. – gman Jul 15 '17 at 7:15
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You can ripen an avocado in one day by double wrapping in foil and placing in low (250°) oven for +/- 30 minutes. Check by pressing lightly until avocado is starting to soften. Check every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on counter still wrapped in foil for an hour. Remove foil and let cool completely before using. I have used this method successfully for years.

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