When avocados are selected for a salad, the skin should be firm but with light pressure you should be able to determine that the inside flesh is soft. (This is reminiscent of the sign in one greengrocer’s window: “If you must pinch the fruit, please pinch the coconut.”) The avocado skin should be uniformly green and unblemished. The blemish indicates a bruise and it also indicates that the inside flesh will be dark.
Avocados, once they are cut in half, darken quickly and it is best to rub the cut surface with lemon immediately. Or, if the slices are to be tossed in a salad, the lemon juice should be added immediately. The lemon will prevent the avocado from darkening.
To serve avocado halves, run a stainless-steel knife all around the fruit lengthwise. Remove and discard the pit. Rub the cut surface with lemon and serve stuffed, if desired, with seafood and mayonnaise or with a simple, well-seasoned French dressing.
© 1969 Craig Claiborne estate. All rights reserved.