By: Jessica Hubble | LCA’s Digital Marketing Specialist
Avocados; a millennial’s dream and America’s favorite superfood.
I’m sure you’ve noticed the high volume of avocado offerings on menus and the higher availability of the fruit (yes, it’s a fruit, a berry to be exact) in grocery stores. Consumption of avocados has quadrupled in the last 15 years, making avocados a very popular fruit (Haas Avocado Board). According to the Haas Avocado Board, the Dallas area ranks 3rd in the consumption of avocados.
I was invited to attend “Avocado University” with Avocados from Mexico (AFM). Avocados from Mexico’s headquarters has their very own test kitchen next to their offices. The kitchen is not a stark, cold industrial kitchen by any means. Modern appliances and décor adorn the room along with creative photographs of avocados. Walking into the kitchen felt like walking into a friend’s home for a meal. They host “Avocado University” once a month and hold the course in their test kitchen. They invite chefs and restaurant professionals from across the country to spend 6 hours learning the ins and outs of preparing, picking, and ripening avocados.
I’m not going to lie. I was intimidated to be in a room full of chefs. I love to cook but I am not a chef. I’m sure they would all cringe at my use of canned vegetables as sides. Never the less, I was excited to learn and delve myself into the unique world of avocados.
Avocados are not my favorite food; I don’t detest them but I’m not in love with them as most of my fellow millennials. I’d actually never had avocado toast until this class. I think my biggest problem was I never learned how to pick, prepare, or preserve them. In this class, I learned all of these skills and even more that I would love to share with you all.
How to Pick an Avocado
Avocados from Mexico suggests when picking an avocado don’t squeeze the sides, everyone else trying to pick avocados has already been doing that making them soft on the sides. Squeeze the top and bottom of the avocado to tell if it is ripe. If there is a slight give to the avocado it is ripe and ready to be taken home.
How to Preserve Avocados
I hate to be the one to break it to you but leaving the pit of the avocado in guacamole or in the avocado does not work. To preserve avocado slices or half an avocado, AFM says that the best way is to can brush them with lemon juice or olive oil and wrap them in parchment paper or plastic wrap. Guacamole is best preserved in a plastic container instead of a metal container. Plastic wrap is then put over the container and pressed all the way down to the guacamole, making sure to leave no air bubbles.
How to Ripen or Stop the Ripening of Avocados
Ever buy an avocado on a whim and it is just isn’t quite ripe? Never fear! You can ripen them yourself. Simply put the avocado in a brown paper bag and leave it on your kitchen counter. In 1-4 days, it will be ready to eat! If you want to buy avocados in advance of a holiday or party and keep them from continuing to ripen you can put them in a plastic zip lock bag and put them in the refrigerator.
I hope these tips and tricks will be of help to you in your own avo adventures!