Avocados. What a pain.

Buying them has become so difficult. Even when they are Hass avocados, labeled as from Mexico, their quality seems to have degraded. They change suddenly from green rocks into dark, spongy, cratered forms. Cutting one reveals both yellow, unripe flesh and black, fibrous goo.

Perhaps, those awful ones from Peru are being labeled wrongly as from Mexico. What is happening? [scratch.gif]

I’ve had good luck lately with California avocados (Hass) from Costco. They come in a 5-pack, but keep reasonably well in the fridge.

Isn’t there a blind link for this?

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/27/magazine/the-fruit-of-global-trade-in-one-fruit-the-avocado.html

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Where do you live? I get mine from orchards in Santa Barbara County and Ojai and they are amazing. I keep green rocks in the fridge until I need more, then take them out to ripen. I’ll do the opposite if I have too many ripe ones. The fridge slows everything down.

I have seen this some. More common for me is buying underripe peaches or nectarines and seeing them turn directly from rocks to rot

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Victor,

You don’t have an avocado tree in your rooftop garden?

No.
Strawberries, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and a young fig sapling.

I have found that the key is to buy them green and allow them to soften up / “ripen” at home. If they’re anywhere near ripe in the store, they get beat to hell. The bruises manifest themselves as that black goo in no time, even if other parts still aren’t ripe. Plan ahead and buy 'em green!

Same here. But they went from green rock to black goo, without any good stage inter alia.

I grew up in the tree fruit business in Central Washington. When it comes to soft fruit (peaches, nectarines), the phenomenon of having a hard piece of fruit that passes right by the “ripe” stage to being rotten (or shriveling, etc.) is a consequence of the grower simply picking too soon. When a fruit fails to achieve a certain point of maturity, it’ll never “ripen,” no matter what you do. I presume that’s exactly the case with avocados. The difficulty is that it’s more difficult to tell, visually, when a green avocado is mature enough or was picked too soon. It’s easier with fruit like peaches and nectarines.

I don’t overly fault the farmers, either, because it’s most often the grocery outlet that is dictating harvest date. It’s also difficult to find that sweet spot when fruit is mature enough yet still firm enough to ship. There is truly nothing like a peach or nectarine that is allowed to hang on the tree until full ripeness. I’ve been told a tree-ripe avocado is an amazing thing too. Unfortunately, in an era of shipping food globally, that’s often not possible in large grocery chains.

Safeway used to be a reliable source for ripe avocados but I’ve returned several lately from different stores. I agree that’s it’s best to ripen them at home but sometimes you gotta have some guac.

Are you storing them near other fruit like bananas? Some fruits emit gasses that do speed up the ripening process. Store avos alone to let them naturally ripen.

Your first paragraph is what I’ve always assumed, thanks. I’ve eaten lots of avos straight from the tree (or within a few days). I’d say it’s about even likelihood that one off a local tree is great is not much different than store-bought from a reliable source (or better, from growers at a farmers market). There’s a tree on our block that we get avos from most years, but these are a different, much more “buttery” variety.

I can’t believe Victor even buys/eats avocados. They require a TON of water to farm. Eating them pretty seriously undermines his holier-than-thou stance and makes it even more difficult to listen to the constant “tsk, tsk, tsk” coming from his keyboard.

Victor, how do you even sleep at night?

Especially in the wintertime I put them in a bag with a couple bananas so they will ripen within a couple days. If they take much longer to ripen they go bad more often.

Can confirm, I am watering my avocados about 15 gallons a day during the summer and they are only juvenile trees. I expect them to need 2-3 times that much at maturity. Have not tracked how much that is per avocado but there are reports it is around 60 gallons per fruit.

Yes, my sleep is down to three fours nightly. And avocado production impacts ever-dwindling monarch butterflies. The few butterflies which we saw recently on Block Island and Martha’s Vineyard were poignant.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/world/americas/ambition-of-avocado-imperils-monarch-butterflies-winter-home.html

For that reason, our household has curtailed avocado consumption, previously buying maybe three or four per month. Less now, given my original post.