Jamie Oliver's Hack For Finding A Perfectly Ripe Avocado

Remember in The Martian, when Matt Damon has to eject from his little hatch, which is hurtling through Mars' atmosphere so fast that it falls apart; and then Jessica Chastain, who is tethered to the main ship, has to use precise calculations and a minuscule window of time and space to catch him before he is lost forever? Opening an avocado at the perfect ripeness is kind of like that. You buy it at a dark greenish hue and then watch it warily; eyeballing the sly fruit every time you walk into the kitchen, picking it up now and again to give a not-too-tight squeeze, wishing you had X-ray vision for this one purpose. 

One who opens a perfectly ripened avocado knows no greater glory; one who misjudges it knows no greater defeat. Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef and father of five, knows this, and he's here to help you come out on the winning side of the avocado wars. He recently tweeted a trick for determining whether or not your avocado is ready to go, and it's bafflingly simple: "...look for the very dark green ones that are slightly soft around the stem area and if the flesh under the small brown stem is green you're good to go #KeepCookingFamilyFavorites," (via Twitter).

If your avocado is not ripe yet, don't worry

As Love One Today reminds us, there are many stages to an avocado's lifespan (and only one of those stages is "ripe"), and the best chance you've got for picking the perfect avocado is to choose a bright green one and exercise a lot of patience. Or, pick a dark one and hope for the best. But The Kitchn agrees with Jamie Oliver: every avocado wears a mood ring just under its tiny brown stem. And that tiny circle underneath an avocado stem is like a window to the avocado's soul; if it's green, happy days! If it's brown or discolored, both you and the avocado will be a bit glum.

If you called it wrong, don't despair! Like Matt Damon punching a hole in his pressurized suit and using the leak to steer himself safely home ... well, you've got options. The Today Show suggests baking an avocado that's green but still a little too firm, or refrigerating one that is just perfect but not needed until a bit later. Unfortunately, if your fruit has already gone brown, neither Jamie Oliver nor Matt Damon can help you. Just remind yourself how lucky you are not to be stuck on Mars, and try to do better next time.