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How to Tell If an Avocado is Rotten

Avocados are delicious additions to sandwiches and salads, but you need to know if they're overripe or rotten.


  • Step 1: Check the color Look at the avocado's color. Avocados that aren't yet ripe are pale to dark green. Ripe avocados are dark green to greenish-brown, and an avocado that is dark brown to black is rotten.
  • TIP: Avocados reach peak ripeness just before they begin to rot. If the avocado has only slightly rotten parts inside, it's still good to eat.
  • Step 2: Pull out the stem Determine if an avocado is rotten by prying the stem from the top of the avocado. If the bottom of the stem is mushy, black, or mildewed, the avocado is probably rotten.
  • Step 3: Feel the avocado Pick up the avocado. If it is hard and unyielding, it isn't ripe yet. If it's overly soft and mushy, it's rotten.
  • Step 4: Cut it open Cut open the avocado with a knife. If it's dark green near the skin and pale green near the stone, it's ripe. But if the meat is separated, stringy, and brown or black, it's rotten. If the meat of a ripe avocado is exposed to air, it'll brown quickly, but you can skim off the top layer and still use the avocado.
  • FACT: Archaeologists in Peru have found domesticated avocado seeds buried with Incan mummies dating back to 750 BCE.

You Will Need

  • Avocados
  • Knife

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