Fabulous avocado: We’ve had a love-hate relationship going strong since, well, we realized how delicious they are on toast. Don’t get us wrong, we adore them in a smoothie and practically every other recipe that doesn’t involve a slice of bread—but can they chill with the lightspeed browning?
We’ve heard whispers of simple tricks to keep them from spoiling quickly, however, leaving that bulge of a seed inside? Here’s the thing: it’s kind of bogus and sort of true. Allow us to explain.
What’s going on?
There’s a process that happens when you cut produce such as avocados, bananas, and mushrooms in half called enzymatic browning. When you “damage” these foods by cutting into them, substances on their freshly revealed surfaces called phenolics become exposed to air and begin to oxidize, says Raymond Mahoney, Ph.D., a professor of food chemistry at the University of Massachusetts. This reaction is what leads to the darker hues and eventually squishy texture, even with the seed still present.
Here’s where the not-really-but-maybe part comes in. While the seed doesn’t actually slow the browning of the entire half of the avocado it’s left in, it helps the area beneath it stay fresh. Since that part has no oxygen interaction (it’s sealed behind the seed), it’ll take a more time to go bad, explains Mahoney.