You’re looking forward to that avocado toast, in fact you’ve been thinking about it since last night. Finally you wake up, make some toast, get a bit of beautiful Muenster cheese, and grab that ripe avocado you’ve been waiting for.
You slice into it and get… the stringiest mess you’ve ever seen. Just green-brown streaks, all over it. You try to pick them out but there’s just so many !
Now what ? Can you eat that ? What are those strings ? More importantly, why does your avocado have strings and is it still safe to eat ?
If this has ever happened to you (it did to us recently and we’re still a bit upset over those 3 avocados), then you might just want to know what happened to your avocado. And whether you can know it will be stringy before you even open it.
Why does avocado have strings ?
An avocado’s strings are the vascular bundles the fruit uses to get water and nutrients from the tree. Much like the veins in a leaf, those strings in avocado have the same purpose.
You’ll notice those strings come from the top of the fruit, and reach all around the pit, and under it. The majority of them are near the top, and are clearly visible. They’re quite tough, if you try to pull them out they’re hard to break or rip away.
But you’ve had avocados before, and they weren’t like this. Even if they had a stray brown string or two, they were thin and wispy and very easy to ignore. What gives ?
Read also: How To Tell If Avocado Is Bad
Why some avocados have strings, and some don’t
Not every avocado has strings, as you’ve noticed. The ones that still have their vascular bundles noticeable are the younger avocado fruits, or those that were stored very poorly. It’s usually the very young ones.
You’ll notice they fruit is still young because it won’t ripe all over, but will instead have thicker, harder patches while the rest of it will be perfectly ripe.
The flesh is a dead giveaway too. Fresh, ripe, beautiful avocado flesh is green all over, a deep green ranging from a dark green towards the rind, to a lighter and finally a yellowish hue around the pit.
A very young avocado flesh is a light green all over, and the texture is off. More watery than creamy, and has barely any flavor. In fact these avocados may also have brown spots that are not from being overripe, but instead from cold exposure.
You’ll usually find these avocados in the cold season, especially from September to January.
Can you tell avocado will be stringy ?
Unfortunately there’s no clear way to be 100% sure which avocados will be stringy. Even ripe avocados of some varieties may be stringy.
But you can try steering clear of those avocados are are too young, because they have the highest chance of being stringy. By young we don’t mean underripe, we mean they were simply picked too soon.
You’ll notice them because they’re generally smaller, have a lighter green skin, and may have spots in some places. Not all will be stringy. Bt whenever an avocado is stringy, it’s usually a young one.
Read also: Do You Know How Long Guacamole Lasts ?
Can avocado get worms ?
Wondering if maybe those were worms ? We don’t really think they were, but we’ll cover that section too. Yes, avocados can get worms but that’s very unlikely. This is a very precious crop and farmers do their best to keep it free of pests and diseases.
To answer your question avocados (if they ever get worms) have two pests:
- amorbia moth larvae, fairly big and whitish-yellow
- omnivorous looper, light yellow with black stripes down the back.
Both of these are moths. They will burrow into the avocado, lay eggs, eat the leaves, much on avocado skins, and so on. You’re more likely to encounter the pupa or larvae stage of these pests than any other stage.
Again, very few avocados that are sold commercially will have these. They’re very noticeable pests and are quickly taken care of when the farmers do notice them.
Can you eat avocado with strings ?
Okay so they’re not worms, they’re vascular bundles and they’re here to stay. Can you eat them ? Ah well, they won’t hurt you if you do, but they will be stringy and a little chewy.
It’s entirely up to you can how particular you are about the texture. If it bothers you, and you have a decent blender, you can try blending the whole flesh, strings and all. You might get some strings wrapped around the blades though, so do this at your own risk.
Can you still use a stringy avocado ?
Yes, you can still eat a stringy avocado. We mean the flesh, without the strings, those are up to you.
If you still want to eat the flesh you totally can. As long as you season it with whatever you like, it will mostly taste the same. You might notice a ‘thinner’, watered down taste. The fats in avocado flesh haven’t fully developed and the fruit itself won’t be the most delicious. But it’s still edible.
To remove the strings you’ll need something like a fork or a toothpick, and lots of patience. Short of picking each and every string out of the mashed avocado, we don’t know of a better method.
Can you eat the brow bits in an avocado ?
What, there’s brown bits in the avocado now ? Wow this bad boy has it all, huh ? Well yes, you could eat the brown bits but we really recommend you don’t.
They won’t hurt your health, but they’re bitter and really unpleasant to eat. We guess that if you mix them throughout the rest of the avocado flesh they’re not as noticeable.
Still, it might be in your best interests to just cut out those parts, and use however much you can of that avocado.
Actually this is how we wound up throwing out half of our avocados that day. We had three, all were stringy, and they had some brown spots too.
We picked as many strings as we could, cut around the brown parts, and mashed the green. When we looked at the refuse pile we got a bit upset. Half of each avocado was there, accounting for skins and pits and strings and whatnot.
Ah well, maybe you’ll have more luck than we did. Maybe your avocado will be nice and smooth and string-free !
We found out that unfortunately, you can not know before opening it up if it will be a stringy avocado or not. The good part is that you don’t have to throw it away if it has a string since they are safe to eat but annoying.