What kind of apple to use for ripening your avocado

If you’re an avocado lover, you know of the difficulties you can encounter when trying to find the perfect avocado – one that’s at the exact stage of ripeness you want. How many times have you approached a huge display of avocados at your local store and after touching more fruits than you can count, none fit your needs? Some are just too soft and you know what the interior will look like when you cut them open (black spots and lots of stringy bits) while others are rock hard. So if you’re looking for some for that day, you’re out of luck and have to go elsewhere.

But if you’re organized in your menu planning and shopping, the hard ones will do. But what if you’re in the middle and need to get those gems ripening a little more quickly?

There is indeed still hope that you can get them in ready-to-eat form more quickly. You may have tried putting them in a paper bag along with an apple to speed up the ripening process. But if you’re like me, you may have also found that this trick did little to get that avocado deliciousness onto your table more quickly.

Now I know the reason for my failure.

First a little background as to why you might use the paper bag in the first place. It’s all due to ethylene, a gas, which is involved in ripening. When a fruit or vegetable is exposed to ethylene, it will ripen more quickly. Putting a fruit in a paper bag along with an ethylene producer will then hasten the ripening as the gas will be more concentrated. But some produce emit ethylene while others do not. And of the ethylene producers, some emit more than others.

Apples, bananas and kiwis are among the bigger producers. It’s one of the reasons it’s recommended that you store apples in a closed container or bag in your fridge crisper so they don’t spoil your other produce.

Avocados themselves produce ethylene so if you have time, simply putting them in a closed paper bag for a few days will suffice. I’ve done this and it works like a charm but when I’ve needed quicker results, I’ve turned to the trusty apple.

But I’ve just learned why my attempts at quicker ripening have failed. Not all apples are created equal. Yes, I knew that in terms of taste. Some are sweeter and others more tart. What I didn’t know is that newer varieties such as Fuji and Royal Gala have been bred so that they ripen more slowly and maintain their crispness longer. In other words, they produce less ethylene. Red and Golden Delicious apples, the old standbys, are the go to apples if you’re looking for more ethylene production.

I gleaned all of this information from the California Avocado website. If you’re a passionate avocado lover, check them out. But if you’re not, it’s time to begin a love affair with these fruits, for both their taste and nutrition (healthy fat, fibre, potassium and lutein to name a few key nutrients) . Check out my post: Avocado love: 5 top reasons to eat avocados

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Categories: Tips and Tricks

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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