Everyone knows guac is extra—that’s cause avocados aren’t cheap! When they go bad at home, it’s downright tragic. Learning how to choose good ones from bad ones at the store is key. With a little practice, you’ll get the feel for knowing when an avocado is close to being ripe or past its prime.

Pick up an avocado and gently squeeze it. When an avocado has gone bad it feels mushy and might even have sections that feel hollow. This means the inner fruit has spoiled and is starting to rot.

Look for avocados that have broken or dark, soft spots on the skin. If these haven’t already turned bad, they’re on their way out and not worth buying.

At home, check the freshness of an avocado by opening it and looking inside. A bad avocado has dark brown and black spots, generally starting from the stem portion of the fruit. If these are isolated in one or two spots, cut the bad portion away, and check the rest of the avocado to see if it’s salvageable.

Taste an avocado that has one or two dark spots but otherwise looks fine. Avocados just on the edge of turning might still have a creamy green color but will taste slightly “off.” A good avocado has a clean, smooth taste with a slightly sweet aroma. A bad avocado often exudes a somewhat musky odor and flavor.

Tips

  • If you get the avocado home from the market and then find out that it’s rotten, even after choosing carefully, take it back to the store and ask the produce manager to replace it.