General Question

Buttonstc's avatar

What makes some avocados SO MUCH more fibrous and how do I avoid buying them?

Asked by Buttonstc (27597points) July 30th, 2013
19 responses
“Great Question” (6points)

Once you cut it open its kind of too late to return it. These are Hass variety, btw.

Is this a seasonal thing? It seems (I think) that the ones I was buying about a month ago were so much smoother and juicier inside.

Does refrigerating them (or not) affect this in any way?

Any solutions?

What do you do when shopping for avocados?

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Answers

Sunny2's avatar

I hope you get a knowledgeable response. I’d like to know too.

snowberry's avatar

The only time I have had a fibrous avocado is when I allowed it to get too ripe. And not all of them go fibrous when they ripen.

I’ve seen some weird stuff with them though. Yesterday I opened one because it seemed ripe. The pulp right next to the rind was so ripe it was almost rotten, while the inner part was so hard I couldn’t even bite it.

ETpro's avatar

I didn’t know, and jumped here to find out. But @Sunny2‘s similar answer was all I found, so I did some searching and found this which asks the same question on a food discussion group, and got a number of useful replies. Unfortunately, none of the answers will turn your fibrous avocados back into nice, smooth buttery ones. The only suggestion approaching that is to take them back to the market.

Sunny2's avatar

@ETpro Thank you for doing the research. That article was helpful. You buy a pig in a poke and take it back if it won’t stop squealing. Got it.

Inspired_2write's avatar

same as @Sunny2
I regulary eat avocado and once I had a fibrous one was when it was TOO RIPE.
I usually purchase black avocado’s and use them in salads immediately, otherwise they get either too soggy(overripe) or stringy.

Buttonstc's avatar

Well if the guys at Chowhound don’t have any definitive answers that’s pretty sad :)

I’ve had avos go overripe without being fibrous (just that nasty dark brown color).

And the one I had tonight prompting this Q had the stringy parts dark but i didnt think the avo as a whole was overripe.

And I know for certain that a week ago, the ones I had were a beautiful yellowish green inside. Just soft enough and definitely not even the tiniest bit overripe. But they were fibrous as hell. Bright yellow green fibers all throughout, not a dark one in sight.

I normally get mine from Sam’s Club in bags of five from Mexico since they are generally a much better quality (or far less of a crapshoot) than at any supermarket, even MEIJERS (which normally has better quality produce than the other markets around here)

So, the mystery continues. Being overripe is a factor which evidently makes the stringiness more obnoxious but, as noted, I’ve had fibrous ones without a trace of overripe.

Next time I go shopping I’m going to see if I can hunt up a produce mgr. for a little chat.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Inspired

I was typing when you posted.

So, I’m curious about something. Have you ever had a fibrous one that was NOT overripe?

I have and I guess that’s what is so puzzling.

Plus, I just remembered something. Occasionally, I have cut one in half before it was fully ripe. So the outer part was soft but closer to the pit and the inside it was really hard.

So I basically just scraped out as much of the soft part and putting extra pressure on the spoon scraped as much of the hard part as I could. (That’s my usual method anyhow. I don’t scoop out big chunks and cut them up. I just scrape everything into mush).

Anyhow, that underripe one was fibrous as hell and more so in the harder part that I was scraping. So, I’m thinking the fibrousness is something inherent in the avocado itself. Letting it get overripe just aggravates the situation.

The more I think about all this, the more it bugs me :)

ETpro's avatar

@Buttonstc In the SERPs page, I say numerous results all pointing to stringiness being one of the things that goes wrong when avocados get too ripe. Another is the brown mush syndrome, which seems to be the common failure mode we get here. Fortunately, you can feel that failure mode.

augustlan's avatar

I’ve definitely had just right and under-ripe avocados with that stringy stuff, as well as over-ripe ones that didn’t have the strings. Drives me bonkers that there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it!

Buttonstc's avatar

@ET

What is the SERPs page to which you refer? I’m not getting that abbrev. even tho I went back and reread the link you had posted.

Could you clarify?

Buttonstc's avatar

@Auggie

I’m determined to get to the bottom of this no matter how long it takes. I’m like a dog with a bone when I’ve got something bugging me :)

ETpro's avatar

@Buttonstc SERP is an acronym for Search Engine Results Page. SERPs are the pages that result when you go to a search engine and conduct a search.

Buttonstc's avatar

Thanks. My acronym translator was asleep at the switch :)

Computerese is not one of my language skill sets.

ETpro's avatar

Never hurts to ask. So many acronyms today have entirely separate meanings in this, that or the other discipline. Umm… Discipline. BD/SM.

weeone's avatar

several reasons for the fiber. South American varieties have that tendency and those are the Avo’s in the market right now (Chili) . Leaving the fruit on the tree longer also increases the fiber. Avocado’s don’t start to “ripen” (get soft) until they are picked. you can leave the fruit on the tree for a year and it will still be hard when you pick it. I’ll guess that is what is contributing to the fiber issue, is growers leaving them on the tree to long, it certainly isn’t the ripening process causing the fiber. .

ETpro's avatar

@weeone Thanks. I had no idea the South American kind could be left on the tree. I had a tree in California, and mine would ripen and eventually fall off if I didn’t harvest them. It was a big tree, so I supplied all my friends with avocados. But they were never fibrous.

Heisenberg's avatar

I’ve recently come across fibrous avocados from the same trees I’ve been picking them from for over 10 years. I’ve never had this problem before. The alvos are are about 90% ripe, but when cut open the “meat” is brown and purple striped and moderately fibrous. This is the first time ever these alvo trees produced this kind of fruit, The only difference I’ve noticed from past years is that the trees took 3 months longer to produce and the weather during that time was unusually hot and dry. So I’m hoping it was just this season. Also there are different varieties of alvo. The ones that are more pear shaped have a smaller seed and tend to be creamier. In Hawaii they are called “butter pears”.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Heisenberg

Now that is discouraging if they’re from the same tree and just deteriorating in quality.

This year’s crop is also inferior to those I’ve had in previous years. Just yesterday, the one I cut into was unevenly ripened It was all mushy brown on the stem end but I could just cut that off easily.

But then there was an area on the inside which was hard as a rock even tho I ripen mine the exact same way by placing them in a brown paper bag.

So I really don’t know what’s going on. Shortly after I first posted this Q last year, I sought out a produce mgr. at Sam’s club and she had nothing helpful to contribute.

So, unfortunately I haven’t found out anything further except that overall quality of Avocados is going steeply downhill.

BTW: welcome to Fluther.

Lmk's avatar

I took a permaculture class a year ago and for the first time in my 60 years I learned the reason for fibrous or watery avocados, and have since heard it many more times living here in Hawaii where dozens of avocado varieties are grown. Ready?! Fibrousness is not due to ripeness when opened, or the time of the season the fruit appeared. Rather, it is due to whether its tree was “grafted” (achieving identical genetic clones) or planted from seed. That is, avocados are not “true to seed”, meaning if you plant an avocado seed, the tree MAY produce fruit, or it may not at all, and if it does, the probability is high (though I’ve been told not always) that its fruit will have NO resemblance to the fruit from which it’s seed was taken and will probably be substandard. Apples and (unfortunately) most other fruit trees also are not true to seed. The problem is, avocado exteriors don’t tell us this. My guess is that many farmers, from poorer counties especially, want in on the prolific avocado business, and have realized they can sell their essentially free-from-seed-grown avocados to distributors, and the distributors aren’t verifying the kinds of trees they’re from. Therefore, planting an avocado seed in your backyard and caring for it for 3–5 years (the usual time to maturity) will most likely result in a disappointing end product. You can buy a grafted tree from a reputable nursery for $35–50 and have success, or if you know someone with tree that produces wonderful fruit, perhaps they’ll let you take a cutting to graft onto your own young tree planted from an avocado seed. You’re
providing the healthy avocado root stock (the variety of seed it’s from doesn’t matter), but the genes will be from a tree that produces beautiful fruit. I hope this explains why, under so many contradictory conditions, fibers are found in avocados. I would, by all means, return to a supermarket any stringy avocado labeled “Hass” because it just should not be.

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