Sometimes called an alligator pear, because of its shape and green skin.

California avocados peak in spring and summer while Florida avocado are available from June through March, with its peak in October.

Select heavy, unblemished avocados. If the avocado is rock hard, it will need a few days to ripen. If an avocado yields slightly to gentle pressure, it is ripe enough to slice. If pressing the fruit leaves a small dent, it is too ripe to slice, but is suitable for mashing. If pressing leaves a large dent, the fruit is overripe, and the flesh will have darkened and spoiled.

Hard avocados ripen at room temperature in three to six days. To speed up the process, place them in a paper bag. Keep ripe avocados in the refrigerator and use within two to three days. Florida avocados are somewhat more perishable than California avocados.

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