We're a nation that loves avocados. But, as the Hass avo goes out of season and is replaced by the Shepard, how you select the fruit needs to change.
With the green-skinned avocados officially in season, it's important to note the differences between the Hass and Shepard.
“Shepard avocados have a beautiful green skin, but unlike the Hass avocados, the skin doesn’t change colour as it ripens,” says avocado farmer, Kylie Collins.
They also have a firmer, more yellow flesh, which makes them ideal for slicing and adding to salads and on toast. Their flesh also stays a bright yellow-green colour, and doesn’t brown after being cut.
“To tell if a Shepard avocado is ripe you need to feel the fruit, but sometimes people get a little too handsy and squeeze the avocado all over," says Kylie. "Many people don’t realise the ‘firm-fingered’ approach can actually bruise the fruit and turn the flesh under the skin black," she explains.
Here's a foolproof guide from Australian Avocados to help you pick the best avocados:
- Press gently at the stem (at the top) to check the ripeness of an avocado.
- If it gives a little, it’s ready to eat!
- If it’s hard, leave for one to three days on the bench and keep checking.
- Speed up the ripening process by placing unripe avocados in a paper bag with an apple or banana for a few days.
- Refrigerating a whole, ripe avocado will maintain the optimum ripeness for two to three days.