Throw Your Avocado Away Immediately If You Notice This

Just like in fashion, the food world sees trends that come and go. Cronuts, rainbow bagels, and dalgona coffee are a few treats from the last decade that foodies went wild for, only to have the hype around them quickly die down. This cycle tends to be the narrative around trendy foods, though every so often, something is able to break the mold and get a good hold onto society, and we can't think of anything that has done that better in recent years than the avocado. According to Avocados From Mexico, avocado lovers in America alone consume an average of 8 pounds of Mexican-grown avocados a year, and if you're a proud part of that statistic, you've probably got a stash of them sitting in your kitchen right now. 

You probably also know the feeling of disappointment that comes with breaking open an avocado only to find it's not quite ready for the avocado toast you've been craving. Using the stem trick is one way to determine if the finicky fruit is ready for consumption without having to cut into it. Per Eat This, Not That!, an avocado stem that is difficult to remove is an indication that it's not quite ready, while an easily removable cap that is green underneath points to peak ripeness. Conversely, there is also a situation where removing the stem will tell you that your avocado is overripe and needs to, sadly, go on a one-way trip to the trash.

Finding brown underneath the avocado stem is a bad sign

According to Healthline, the ripening process of an avocado begins at its stem, which is why removing that small cap on the fruit's exterior can help you determine if it's at the perfect point in its life to be transformed into guacamole. However, the Jamie Oliver-approved hack can also tell you if your avocado is unsafe to consume. As Best Life reports, finding a brown spot underneath the stem of your avocado can be a sign of spoilage. This not only results in an off-putting taste and smell, but can also be a sign that toxic compounds have begun to form, which have the potential to make you sick.

Now, we know it's hard to toss those precious avocados in the trash, so if you notice browning underneath the stem, you may want to do a bit more examining before discarding it entirely. Go ahead and slice that bad boy open so you can inspect just how much of your avocado has started to turn. If you see more green flesh than brown, Healthline notes that you may be able to salvage your avocado by removing the small portion that has started to go bad. However, if you notice a sour smell, mold, or an overwhelming amount of discoloration, it's probably time to say goodbye to the produce.