How to make guacamole

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Beyond the toast. 

Long, long ago, there was a time when avocados were something you bought for guacamole, and maybe a shrimp salad. It’s difficult to remember now, that life we once led when there wasn’t avocado hummus, avocado pudding, avocado toast, avocado cheesecake, and avocado-kale-pineapple smoothies waiting at every turn.

Now knowing how to purchase, store, and eat up avocados efficiently is just as much of a current life skill as coding. Whether you’re still just riding the guacamole train or you have unlocked new levels of avocado usage, here are five things you need to know.

Bad avocados yield bad results. Just because you have a hankering for guacamole, avocado toast, or any other dish including these fleeting fruits, it doesn’t mean you should use whatever sub-par avocados you have on-hand. Take the time to find the best ones, even learn which grocery store has the most on-point shipments. Some of our editors will only buy them at the international grocery store on the other side of town. Starting with good avocados matters more than any other principal we may list here.

  • Practice picking makes perfect. You can read any and everyone’s tips for how to select perfectly ripe avocados, but the truth is only you can develop your own system of signs. But while we’re here, we’ll tell you what we look for: the slightest give when squeezed (you don’t want it to feel like a ripe peach, but you don’t want it to feel like a tennis ball either) and green underneath the stem.

    WATCH: How to Ripe Avocados 

  • Know your type. While the most common kind of supermarket avocado is the good, ole Haas, you might come into contact with such varieties like Florida Avocados, sold under the name SlimCado, or the Fuerte, which a colossal California export with a smooth skin and stronger taste. While guacamole tastes best with Haas ‘cados, others are useful in other situations. For instance, a low oil-content avocado like the Choquette might be a better choice in a salad with an already oily vinaigrette.

  • To every ‘cado, there is a season (Turn! Turn! Turn!). While avocados may seem to be an evergreen supermarket staple, avocados are normally at their peak in terms of seasonality and flavor between August and early November. Each variety has their own growing season, but most fall in this autumnal time bracket.

  • Pair up. While avocados may seem wholly perfect solo, they truly come alive with a sprinkle of salt and a smidge of acid. That’s makes your coffee shop’s avocado toast taste better than your homemade version. Whether it’s lemon juice or hot sauce, avocados need a Garfunkel to their Simon.