Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to Cut an Avocado

Cutting an avocado may seem like a daunting task but it's actually quite easy if you're careful and take your time. I used to not bother because I thought it was a big ordeal, but I've found such a simple way that it only takes a couple minutes. And believe me, those couple minutes are definitely worth it for the wonderful taste that an avocado brings.

When using avocados for any recipe, be sure to pick ones that are dark in color and are slightly soft to the touch. If they are hard or still very green, stick them in a paper bag for a couple days to ripen. An avocado that isn't ready yet will be bitter and won't have the creaminess that makes them so good.


Step 1
Grab the avocado by one side and slice downward through the middle toward your cutting board until you reach the stone. Now rotate your knife while cutting around the stone until you've gone all the way around the avocado. The two halves should separate easily.

Step 2
Being very careful, gently tap your knife onto the stone that is left in one of the halves. If you go too deep into the stone, it will be difficult to get it off the knife. I'd suggest giving a light tap at first and keep tapping, while increasing the strength slightly with each tap, until you get a good grip.  Give a little twist of the knife to remove the stone and discard it. You can also just scoop it out with a spoon if you're not comfortable with removal by knife.

Step 3a
Many people don't realize, but you can actually peel the skin of an avocado just like you would peel an orange. It's much easier and safer than using a knife to cut it away. All you have to do is work it away from the flesh as you peel and it should just come right off. This will give you a nice, smooth surface for nice looking slices.

Step 3b
You can also scoop out the entire avocado half with a large spoon. This method works well with avocados that have just become ripe. If they're too ripe, they might get mushy when you dig the spoon in. If you're looking for pretty slices, peeling usually works better. If you're going to chop or mash the flesh though, scooping is a great method.

If you choose the scoop method as your removal method, you'll have an added bonus. You'll be left with these little avocado shells. They're great to use as a little bowl for an appetizer or first course of a meal. And they're super cute.

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