FOX43 Finds Out: Can a sock give you the perfect avocado?

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EAST PENNSBORO TOWNSHIP, Pa -- It's not always easy to tell when an avocado is ready to eat.

That`s why companies make products claiming to ripen avocados in no time.

FOX43 finds out tests one of the products to see if it works, or if it`s a waste of money.

We asked shoppers at Weis Markets East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County how they can tell when an avocado is ripe.

"It's softer? Right? I think so. It's not super squishy but it's not hard," said Jason Gochnauer and Mindy Ferguson of Enola.

Thomas Lupia of Hampden Township said, "Well that's a good question. My wife would have to go there on that one. I really don't quite know."

Ok, not exactly clear answers.

We asked Weis Dietitian, Erin Long.

"You want to pick it up, you want to feel around a little bit, give a gentle squeeze. If it gives in to gentle pressure, that means it's ripe."

Seems easy enough.

She says most of the avocados you`ll buy at a grocery story are not ready to eat.

"The ones that are vibrant green, you'll feel them and they're very firm and hard and these are not quite ripe yet."

That`s why products like the avocado sock exists.

It`s essentially a mini wool sock that claims to perfectly ripen an avocado.

The product is made in Canada.

According to the company`s website, one owner used to use actual wool socks to ripen the fruit and thought it was a good idea to pass along.

FOX43 Finds Out ordered the avocado sock to see if it`s the real deal.

It sells for $14.99 Canadian dollars, which means we pay about $12.30 plus shipping.

The tag claims that product will work in 24 hours.

When we told the Weis dietitian about the avocado sock, she said there`s a better option.

"I think the paper bag will do the trick, it's cheaper. It's something most of us already have laying around our house."

And Long sais there`s a trick too.

"Put it in a brown paper bag with either an apple or banana. The apple or banana actually releases a natural gas from the fruits to help speed up the ripening process."

FOX43 Finds Out decided to put these different methods to the test.

We put one avocado in the avocado sock.

One in a brown paper bag alone.

Another in a bag with a banana.

An avocado in a bag with an apple nd one just left one the counter.

Then, we waited.

We checked back in 24 hours, because remember the avocado sock said it could ripen that quickly.

Well, it didn't.

When we checked, none of the avocados were ready to eat after 24 hours.

So we wait again, until we hit the 48 hour mark.
Now we`re in business, after giving a feel to the fruits, it seemed like the avocado that was at perfect ripeness was the one that was in a bag with a banana.

Just for more opinions, I had some FOX43 co-workers give the avocados a squeeze  to see which one they would use to make guacamole or avocado toast and most agreed.

The avocado just in a brown paper bag came in 2nd.

As for the avocado sock, no one thought that one was ready to eat.

On last tip though, the dietitian says there is one thing you don`t want to do with an unripe avocado.

"If you put it in the refrigerator that will actually slow down the ripening process. So that's something you might want to consider if you have a ripe avocado and you don't want to use it for another day or two."

So from our FOX43 Finds Out test, it might not be worth it to buy an avocado sock if a brown paper bag, which is much cheaper, can do the same trick.

We reached out to the avocado sock company to see what they thought of our test and never got a response.

There is another reason we wanted to do this story right now, because we don`t want you to waste avocados!

Especially since, the price of the fruit is on the rise.

The wholesale price of avocados is up 125% since the beginning of the year.

That's according to the American Restaurant Association.

A standard box of 48 avocados went for $83.75 cents this week, that's up from $37.25 in early January.

It's the highest price increase the ARA has on record.

Experts say the two key drivers behind the price surge are a weak harvest and a high demand for avocados.

Now here are some other tips and tricks to finding a ripe avocado, if you`re buying it and trying to use it in the same day.

Look at the stem, if it comes off easily and there is green underneath you`re good.

Try to buy the Darker green ones, those are typically more ripe.

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