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Years ago, Diane Sherwood discovered a nifty trick for ripening avocados in order to make fresh vats of guac for her catering business—putting them in wool ski socks. Realizing this was a technique avocado fans everywhere would appreciate, she now sells specially made all-wool avocado socks designed to prevent bruising while speeding up the ripening process.
According to her website, the “lanolin and warmth of the wool ripens avocados evenly and gently,” so you get that satisfying squishiness with no brown splodges.
This one is more widely practiced, and incidentally it’s endorsed by the Hass Avocado Board. Place your hard avo in a brown paper bag with a banana or an apple for a couple of days. They both release the plant hormone ethylene, which then gets trapped inside the bag, encouraging the avocado to ripen alongside its neighboring fruit.
A lesser-known tactic is to place them in a bag with baking flour, which helps absorb any residual moisture, giving the avocado a near-perfect silky consistency.
This hack also relies on ethylene, but the avocado’s own supply this time. Wrap your fruit in tin foil and put it in the oven, pre-heated to 200 degrees fahrenheit. Leave it to bake for around an hour, during which time it will start to produce ethylene, which, trapped by the foil, will speed up ripening. In 6o minutes, voilà! Your avocado should be mashable.
Some connoisseurs say the results of this method aren’t as delicious, but it’s a good one to know if you’re really short on time.