At some point in recent history, the internet developed a fascination with ‘life hacks’, tips and tricks designed to make some mundane task easier, or to find a new use for all those broken clothes pegs that seem to multiply when you aren’t looking.
As with most things that have sprung out of the verdant soil of the Internet, these range from the ridiculous – using old CD spindles to hold bagels – to the sublime – rooting out pesky marketing emails double quick fast.
So when we hear the news of a life hack specifically to be used with avocados, a fruit so mind-bendingly popular that it’s causing crime waves in New Zealand, who are we to argue that isn’t huge news?
Now then, if you aren’t currently in a position to watch a video with the sound on then correct that as soon as possible, because the narrator above has the most beautiful accent in the world, but disregarding that, here are the steps:
- Wrap unripe avocado in foil
- Place in the oven at around 90 degrees Celsius
- Bake for ten minutes, or until soft
- Allow to cool
- Smash on bread, post to Instagram, and cry about the economy
Now while that seems simple enough, does it actually work? Well according to this here expose from thekitchn website, the technique works because heating the avocado up causes it to release ethylene gas, and wrapping the avocado in foil causes it to sit and stew in said gas, which speeds up the ripening process.
According to the good people at Frontline Services, ethylene gas, much like Ron Burgundy, is kind of a big deal:
Ethylene (C2H4, also known as ethene) is a gaseous organic compound that is the simplest of the alkene chemical structures (alkenes contain a carbon-carbon double bond). Ethylene is the most commercially produced organic compound in the world […] Ethylene is also a gaseous plant hormone.
Ethylene is also added to harvested fruit and crops artificially to expedite the ripening process and has been referred to as the ageing hormone. Unfortunately for the lifehack fans out there, while the science checks out, the method isn’t the most precise. The time it takes depends on a whole heap of variables, most notably the ripeness of the avocado to begin with – referring back to the kitchn’s test, for example, tells us that rather than the ten minutes mentioned in the original tip, it took the avocado closer to an hour to soften up, and a further 30 minutes to cool down.
Seems it would appear that, as ever, the best advice we could give you is not to take any advice you find on the internet at face value. Good luck out there.