Is It Okay To Store Avocados In The Refrigerator?

Of all the borders-busting food trends to take the world by storm, perhaps none is as impressive — and as enduring — as that of the avocado. Native to Mexico, the creamy, savory, pale green fruits are thought to have been consumed starting around 10,000 years ago, and domesticated about 5,000 years ago, according to Avocados From Mexico.

Used in countless Mexican dishes, from guacamole to tostadas to ceviche, it's actually kind of hard to believe that the sheer deliciousness of the avocado didn't start to catch on in the United States until thousands of years post-domestication — until around the year 2000, according to The Washington Post. Prior to that year, only a few west coast cities were lucky enough to regularly chow down on avos, but after, more and more stores in more geographically diverse locations in the U.S. starting importing the fruit, too — and the rest, as they say, is history. 

People all over the world love cracking open the creamy fruit, according to The Daily Meal — and very likely, people all over the world wonder how best to store it.

Avocados do well in the fridge, but only once they're ripe

A common food in many households, avocados can nevertheless be a bit perplexing when it comes to ripening and storage. Sometimes, it seems as though the rock-hard, green fruits that are occasionally the only ones on sale never ripen up on the counter (via The Produce Nerd); Sometimes, they seem to go from underripe to mushy overnight (via Spoon University). And then, there's the whole question of where to store avocados: In the fridge or at room temperature only?

If you have an underripe avocado on hand, according to Avocados From Mexico, you're going to want to keep it on the counter for a few days, checking it daily to see if it's ripe yet by gently pressing on it to look for softness and observing the color of its skin, waiting for it to turn black (if you're under a real time crunch, you can place the avo in a paper bag). Placing a hard, green avocado in the refrigerator will slow down the ripening process too much. But once the avocado is perfectly ripe — or if it came from the store that way — the fridge is a great place for it, halting its ripening, keeping it from going bad, and extending its shelf life another two to three days (via Avocados From Mexico). 

So the next time you consider refrigerating an avocado, take its ripeness into consideration first.