Nina’s Tips and Techniques: Taste of the Tropics (Avocado)

Is there a preferred way to cut an avocado?

I don’t know if there is a preferred way, but there is definitely a more or less easy way! I’ve found the best way to open an avocado is to cut it lengthwise through the stem. I use a paring knife and cut all the way around, going all the way in until I hit the pit. Then I twist the two sides apart. The pit should stay in one side. That side I cut lengthwise again to easily remove the pit.

I’ve seen people whack the avocado pit with a knife to get it out…is that a good trick?

I would advise no, mostly for safety. Generally I would not coach anyone to “whack” anything with a knife, and also I never suggest moving your knife in the direction of your hands or other body parts. Avocado pits are much softer than you realize, and it’s easy to cut right through them with this method, or just miss entirely. I’ve seen a lot of knives in hands and subsequent trips to the ER from this method. The other reason this is a bad idea is because once the pit is out it’s now lodged on the sharp edge of your knife, and again, there are not a lot of safe ways of getting it off without endangering yourself or badly damaging the knife! Kitchen safety is so important!

Is there anything I can do keep my guacamole from turning brown?

Air is not an avocado’s friend. Avocados oxidize quickly after they are cut, so anything you can do to prevent air penetration will help preserve your food a little longer. My best trick for guacamole is to take plastic wrap and push it right down into the guacamole so there is no surface at all exposed to air. Adding some acidic element to your guac can also help – lime or lemon juice not only improves the flavor, but acts as a natural preservative. I’d still double down with the plastic wrap just to be safe!

Recipe: Pesto Avocado Dip