The best thing about avocados is their versatility. It’s an excellent topping on burgers, tacos, eggs, and grain bowls; you can chop it up in a salad; use it in a vegan dessert; or deep fry it for some crazy game-day appetizers. Whatever you do with avocados, you’re going to have to peel that alligator skin off first. Today I’m going to tell you how to do that, with the fewest messy dishes and bloody kitchen towels possible.
For cutting an avocado, you’ll need three things: a paring knife and/or a small chef’s knife, a spoon, and, of course, the avocado.
First, remove the knobby piece of stem near the top of the oblong fruit if it is still attached. Neat trick: if the avocado is not yet ripe, it won’t give up this little stub easily!
Next, cut the avocado in half lengthwise, working around the pit. Twist the two halves apart to separate them from around the pit.
You could be a badass and stab a knife into the pit full force and yank it out with a mighty roar, or you could gently scoop it out with a small spoon. Either way works. Your next steps depend on what you’re gonna do with the avocado.
If you want it diced, use the knife to score a grid-like pattern in the flesh of the fruit, cutting down to– but not through– the skin. Be careful how you’re holding the avocado, for you do not want to slice your hand open and bloody the kitchen towels. I’ll have failed my job here if you do that.
If you want to create slices of avocado, do the same as above, making the cuts horizontally or vertically– of whatever width you choose– while the flesh is still attached to the skin. Next, you simply use spoon to slowly loosen the flesh from the skin, starting at one end, and scooping the avocado out.
If you want weird shapes like hexagons or the silhouette of a unicorn carved into avocado flesh, fear not! Your eccentric aspirations are perfectly attainable. After halving and removing the pit, you can cradle the avocado in your palm and, perhaps using a spoon to loosen the skin, peel the avocado skin off of the whole fruit. If the avocado is ripe, this should be fairly easy; if it’s under or over-ripe, the shape of the flesh may not retain its structure very well and some flesh will stick to the skin. When you have the skin removed from both halves, chop and carve as you wish, you crazy kid.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: You need to use the avocado within one or two days of cutting it. I, too, have seen the “tricks” for keeping avocado flesh green for a week after cutting, but these tips’ effectiveness is dubious. You can tell by the picture of the dermatologist-hated 90-year-old woman next to the link. There is nothing better tasting than a totally fresh avocado, so now you know how to cut one, why not just slice up an avocado as needed?!
Avocado skins cannot be re-purposed into anything as far as I’m aware. But as I was dicing mine to add atop a bowl of oatmeal this morning, I had the idea of avocado skin boots as a PETA-approved alternative to those reptilian favorites in footwear. This is my sartorial contribution to American culture for the week, have at it.