The Secret to Ripening An Avocado

How annoying is it to spend your hard-earned money buying the best avocado (those things are expensive!) you can find among the bruised candidates at your local grocery store, only to come home and find that your fruit just isn't ripe enough to enjoy? There are a lot of tricks people use to ripen an avocado quickly — but you're going to sacrifice a lot of taste for the time saved. Don't do that. You could just store the fruit (yes, it's a fruit) in the refrigerator, a slave to the preset temperatures and other food stuffs surrounding it. But there are better ways, people! You’ve just got to get a little creative. With a quick Internet search, you'll find that there are all kinds of wive’s tales for ripening your avocado on the quick: in the microwave, on a windowsill in direct sunlight, with an apple or banana in a brown paper bag...the wacky list goes on. I spent a few days testing the various approaches so you don't have to. What did I find to be the best method? It's not what you'd expect.

Who knew that a bit of baker's flour and a brown paper bag can help give you the best avocado? I'm not talking just guacamole quality — my flour-ripened avocado was a fantastic snack all on its own. Here's how it works: Grab a brown paper lunch bag and fill it with two-inches worth of good old flour (it doesn't need to be anything fancy). Place the avocado at the bottom of the bag, resting in the flour. Seal it up and let it sit for a couple of days — I left it for two; if your avocado is pretty young, give it three.

Why does this work? It's similar to the old fruit in the bag trick. (You know, the middle school science project that proved pairing an unripe fruit with a banana in a closed paper bag quickened the ripening process. Spoiler: The banana’s trapped ethylene gas speeds along the process) The flour’s yeast has the same effect that the fruit’s ethylene gas does. There are also methods out there stating that submerging the avocado in flour does the job best — I simply placed my fruit on top of the flour and got a great result. So for the sake of food experimentation, give the old flour + paper bag trick a whirl the best time you’re looking to ripen an avocado.