Please stop squeezing avocados in the store to see if they are ripe. You’re just bruising them.

Plan ahead, and buy less-than-ripe avocados. At home, place them on a table (not in the fridge, not in the fruit bowl). Don’t move them or rotate them. Just let them sit. When they develop a flat spot on the bottom, roughly 3/4 of an inch in diameter, then they’re ripe. (You can pick them up to check on the development of the flat spot, but put them back where they were.)

Notice the texture of the skin at this point. It softens. Not soft as in squishy/yielding (don’t squeeze; just touch). Soft like a textile, soft like cardboard compared to wood, or vinyl tile compared to ceramic tile. I’m not sure how to describe it (not velvety: if your avocado develops tiny soft fibers all over, something is very wrong; throw it out and start over). But it is noticeable and definite, once you know what to look for.

Trust me on this. I grew up in avocado country. Don’t squeeze. Just let them be till the flat spot develops and the surface texture changes.

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