Saturday, June 28, 2008

How to Slice an Avocado

People, even strangers, often come up to me and ask, "How can I get perfect slices from an avocado?

It's not that I'm secretive about it, but it's hard to tell someone without showing how it's done. So here it is, my Public Service Announcement, with pictures (although the copyright says "SkyePuppy," the photos were taken by my daughter under duress).

First, remove the little stem piece. Don't use a major knife, because some delicate work is called for. I like to use a slender steak knife. Start at the top and cut down until the knife stops at the seed, then tilt the knife forward, cutting the skin downward toward the bottom (click to enlarge any of the pictures):

Then tilt the knife back toward you, cutting the skin around the front and the bottom:

Keep going, turning the avocado, until your cut meets up with your first cut:

Give it a little twist:

And voilĂ :

Take the half without the seed and cut it almost in half, stopping just before breaking the knife through the back part of the skin:

This is the delicate part. Run the knife through the avocado several times, with the knife tip brushing but not cutting the skin:

Your avocado is now sliced:

Bend the skin back to release the slices. Sometimes the skin isn't flexible and breaks apart in little annoying pieces. As an alternative, you can use a spoon to scoop out the slices. This time, the skin cooperated perfectly:

Here are the slices from the first part:

And from the rest of this half:

If you're not going to eat the whole avocado at once (for example, when you're sandwiching alone), then you'll want to keep the second half from turning brown or black until you get back to it. Air will blacken an avocado much too fast. Keep the seed in place and drip some lime or lemon juice on top of the exposed avocado and slip it into a sandwich bag. Remove as much air as possible and store in the refrigerator:

When you're ready for the second half, remove from the bag, poke the tip of the knife into the seed near the avocado flesh, and pry the seed out:

Then slice as above.

Amaze your friends! Impress your enemies! Have perfect avocado slices from now on.


Anonymous said...

You can claim you aren't "at home" in California, but this post proves otherwise.


Leslie said...

Those slices look fantastic! I've got a simple guacamole recipe you might just love.

SkyePuppy said...

My son,

Avocados aren't just for California anymore. Your Grandma and I had avocado on our sandwiches from Washington to Maine and everywhere else in between. Our trip is where I got to be such an expert in slicing them. I sliced the avocados and Grandma sliced the tomatoes.

SkyePuppy said...


Thanks for the recipe. Sometimes I forget about the cilantro!

Bekah said...

Nicely done! I am very impressed. And I'll let you know how my avocado/guacamole adventures go. :)

Malott said...

Did you hold the camera in your mouth?

SkyePuppy said...


You obviously don't read publications for the articles, just for the pictures.

My daughter took the pictures while standing on a chair behind me.