Avocados ripen best off the tree. To speed the ripening process, place avocados in a paper bag with an apple. Poke a few holes in the bag and store at room temperature. Ripe avocadoes yield to gentle pressue. they also change color from green to purple-black. Once ripe, keep avocados in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Ripe avocados peel easily. Slice in half an remove 1 side. Stick a fork in the large pit and twist to remove. Avocados discolor quickly, so rub lemon juice on the surface or cut at the last moment. Purist claim that the Hass variety is the only avocado to use when making guacamole.