How to ripen an avocado quickly and 9 other avocado facts for Cinco de Mayo

avocadoSince no Cinco de Mayo party is complete without fresh guacamole, you probably carefully selected the perfect avocados during your pre-party shopping trip days ago. But, what if the day before before your party, you discover that, despite a few days of relaxing on your countertop, your avocados remain rock-hard, unlikely to be easily mashed into your favorite flavorful dip?

Not to worry! We’ve researched how to ripen an avocado quickly — and added other must-know facts about avocados here:

  1. There are close to 500 varieties of avocados.

  2. Avocados are actually fruits, and are often eaten with sugar or as an ice cream flavor for dessert in Brazil.

  3. An avocado ripens in 5 stages, from light green to ripe. Keep these in mind when you choose your avocado at the store.

  4. To speed up the ripening process, you can store your avocado in a closed paper bag. This isn’t an instant-fix for a firm avocado, but, with a bit of planning ahead, you’ll be ready to scoop out the plant’s soft, green flesh and mix it with tomato, onion, garlic, cilantro, spices, lime and whatever else your signature guacamole recipe includes.

  5. If it is ripening too quickly, toss it in the refrigerator.

  6. Once it’s ripe, this is how to peel and slice your avocado.

  7. Don’t throw that pit away — use it to grow your own avocado tree!

  8. This year, it’s estimated that Americans will consume 87.3 million pounds of avocados on Cinco de Mayo.

  9. Fresh guacamole is best when — you guessed it — fresh! Mix up your guacamole just before your guests arrive, or treat them to a tableside guacamole-making experience.

  10. One of the yummiest uses of your avocado is to make guacamole grilled cheese:

Guacamole grilled cheese

The avocados you love in guacamole are also fantastic in this grilled cheese sandwich, developed by Karen Arkin, a finalist in the 2012 Simply Organic and Organic Valley Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Recipe Contest.

For more ideas about how to further enjoy avocados and other Mexican favorites, check out our recipe page and Cinco de Mayo party planner.

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