How can you tell if your avocado is indeed rotten and should be disposed of, or if it is prudent to make a snack out of it? There are several clues you should go by to make your decision.
The first thing you should do is look at the color of the avocado. Keep in mind that the coloration is not the best way to judge the freshness of an avocado, but it is the first thing you will look at.
Some avocados look fresh from the outside but are actually rotting on the inside. This is especially true of avocados that have been refrigerated, because refrigeration causes the ripening process to slow down or even stop. Sometimes, the ripening process never starts again when removed from refrigeration, and the avocado rots from the inside while looking perfectly green on the outside. Conversely, an avocado can look completely black or overripe on the outside but still be tasty and completely safe to eat.
So rather than the appearance, it is best to judge an avocado by its smell, and then finally it’s taste. The smell is the main indicator, as a rotten avocado will smell acrid as it begins to decay. The smell of a fresh avocado is mild, buttery, and nutty. Any type of strong or off-putting smell indicates that the avocado has gone bad.
You can get a good read on the freshness or lack thereof of an avocado by its smell. But if you’re on the fence, the final indicator is the taste. Sample a bit to see if it tastes acidic or rancid. A rotten avocado will be almost impossible to miss by taste.
Tip: Keep your half eaten avocados green and fresh for a longer period of time by putting them in an avocado saver before storing in the refrigerator.
Image: avocado gone rotten by Sean Benham
For the Avocado Aficionado
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