Types of AvocadosThere are two main types of avocados grown and available in the United States: Haas and Fuerte. They are also known as California and Florida avocados, respectively.
Fuerte avocados have a smooth green skin and mild flesh. They are widely grown in Florida where they are sometimes affectionately called alligator pears.
Haas avocados were first cultivated by Rudolph Haas in La Habra Heights, California in the 1920s. He planted an unknown variety of avocado tree that then bore dark, almost black fruit with pebbly skin. The fruit inside has a deeper and richer flavor than that of Fuerte avocados.
How to Choose AvocadosAvocados, like all fruit, should feel heavy for their size. Ripe avocados will have darker skin (for their variety) than non-ripe avocados. To tell if an avocado is really perfectly ripe, hold it in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze. Hard as a rock? Not ripe. Squishy? Overripe. Have as much give as chilled butter? Perfectly, divinely ripe.
How to Store AvocadosAvocados continue to ripen after being picked, so feel free to buy under-ripe avocados and let them ripen to perfection at home. Leave them on the kitchen counter for slow ripening, speed up the process by putting them in a paper bag, and slow the whole thing down by putting them in the fridge.
How to Pit an AvocadoCut the avocado in half lengthwise down to the pit all the way around. Twist the two halves and pull apart. Stick a knife into the pit and twist-pull it out.
How to Peel an AvocadoAfter you've pitting it (see above) score the skin on each half of the avocado down the center. Gently pull off the peel.
Note: If you're going to mask the avocado anyway, simply spoon it out of the peel.