I was in Whole Foods yesterday picking up stuff for the holiday and looked for my mandatory supply of green unripe avocados. Nothing todo with Thanksgiving, but avocados are a staple in our home and I buy them every time I visit Whole Foods, Fairway, or Trader Joes. There’s a Mexican grocery on Broadway that I will buy from if they are unripe.
Through years of experience I know that in order to get a good avocado you have to buy it green and let it ripen at home. This takes a little bit of forethought and planning, but the results are worth it. Getting an already ripe avocado means you run the risk of opening a fruit full of black spoiled spots. These are bruises, caused by food workers in the stores that don’t give a shit and dump the avocados into bins like a sack of rocks. Then come the customers, who think they can determine the softness of an avocado by squeezing it. I have news for you- the best test to see if an avocado is ripe is the color. If it’s black or dark reddish, it’s ripe. If it’s bright green, it’s hard and unripe- not ready to eat.
But people stand there and squeeze them and bruise them and then toss them back into the bin, like a rock further damaging them for the next unsuspecting person. Those people should be beaten with a hard avocado in a sock. Or better yet, a rock.
Another good test is to press on the little nib where it was cut off from the vine. If it comes off easily, the avocado is ripe and ready to eat. If it takes work to flick it off or doesn’t come off at all, the avocado is not ready to eat.
A good detail of the nib:
If the avocado is mushy or dented, it’s ready for the compost heap. Or the trash, depending on your sustainability quotient.
Now that we got that out of the way, my pet peeves, ignorant shoppers and uncaring food workers, I’ll get to the meat of the matter.
I looked at the bins where Whole Foods usually keeps their avocados, and there were mangoes or something else there instead. I searched the entire produce section and no avocados at all, not even the small ones they sell bagged up. I was desperate enough to get one of those, but those weren’t present either. I finally asked one of the workers, and he said, “There’s a protest in Mexico.”
“So no avocados?” I asked.
“Nope.” Answered the young produce worker.
When I got home I turned on my computer and typed in“avocado protest in Mexico.” And there it was. Growers in the state of Michoacán were setting up roadblocks to prevent avocados from leaving. It was about money and other states trying to pass off their avocados as Michoacán- grown.Apparently the ones from Michoacán are the best Hass avocados in the world.
I texted my wife Danusia and said if she saw any avocados anywhere to snap them up, as we were down to half a large avocado.
She later told me there were none to be found anywhere, and I braced myself for avocado-less salads for the duration.
Today I went to Fairway for our fresh young turkey (less expensive then Whole Foods) and went straight to the avocado bin, and, there were avocados! Joy! Thank you lord! Saved!
I even sent this text to my wife:
So it seems the avocado crisis is averted, at least for now-of course prices will be higher but the alternative is to do without avocados entirely. So I will pay.
I went to my local store this afternoon, a Finefare on Broadway and 161st Street. They had Florida avocados for 99¢, but the Mexican avocados were $3.49 each. Last time I was at this store they were$2 each. But I think the farmers in Michoacán deserve to get a fair price for their crop, so I’ll pay it and like it.
And I breathe a sigh of relief the avocado crisis is over.