Hand holding an avocado
Food - Drink
Why It's Important To Buy Avocados With The Brown Stem Intact
Avocados may be more popular than ever, but many cooks still can't tell when they’re ripe, and picking good avocados at the store in the first place can be tricky. While many of us understand how to gauge the size and firmness of the fruit, we often overlook other visual cues of a good avocado, including the stem being attached.
An intact, brown stem at the top of an avocado serves as a seal that prevents air from penetrating the inside. This way, the fruit can properly ripen without excessive oxidation, which will prevent you from bringing home an overripe avocado, but the stem should also look a certain way to ensure that it's functioning properly.
You can gauge the condition of the stem by giving it a gentle poke: If it comes off with a slight push or flick and underneath you see a green color, then the avocado is probably in good condition, but if you see brown under the stem, move on. If the stem is very rigid and doesn't budge, then the avocado is not quite ripe yet.