To me, no summer cookout is complete without appetizers. And no app spread is complete without guacamole.
But the difference between great guac and sad guac can be one pesky underripe or overripe avocado. Here are five avocado shopping and storage tips from America’s Test Kitchen Kids to guarantee great guacamole that’s easy enough for a kid to make.
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1. Buy small, rough-skinned Hass avocados. Their rich flavor and buttery texture are essential for guacamole. Large, bright-green avocados are fine for salads but aren’t rich enough for guacamole.
2. Color alone isn’t an accurate indication of ripeness. That said, Hass avocados start out green and get progressively more purple black as they ripen.
3. The most accurate test for ripeness is to place the fruit in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze: It should be a little soft.
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4. Storing avocados in a paper bag at room temperature will speed up ripening by trapping ethylene, the gas that triggers ripening in many fruits and vegetables.
5. Unless you plan to eat them immediately, keep ripe avocados in the refrigerator, which can extend their shelf life by days.