The word gas tends to conjure a multitude of images ranging from your heater to, well … let’s just call them – smells!
In fact, when it comes to ripening fruit and vegetables ethylene gas, a naturally occurring ripening hormone, really is your best friend.
Did you know that no avocados ripen on trees? It is the action of picking that ‘triggers’ the process that ripens the fruit. They are sent to the market unripened to assist with transport and to prevent them from bruising.
How then can you turn your unripe avocados into ‘Guacamole’?
The thing that helps avocados ripen and in fact lots of other fruits and veg, is ethylene. It is naturally omitted when plants are ripe, damaged or stressed. You know that old saying ‘One bad apple spoils the barrel’, well that refers to the fact that a rotting apple emits ethylene causing the others to ripen quickly. When we touch a pallet of mangoes they are warm as they are naturally ripening.
Ancient Egyptians and the ancient Chinese both recorded farming techniques that used natural ethylene to ripen fruit such as bananas, mangoes, tomatoes and avocados.
Large supermarket chains use an ‘artificial’ ethylene gas to ripen. The reason being is so that they can control their supply chain. Into cold storage and limbo, then out to ethylene chambers to ripen the produce quickly. This is why the fruit and veg doesn’t last very long on the shelf and in the fridge.
Harvest Hub produce has only being picked within days by the Grower which means, sometimes, the fruit might need to be naturally ripened. There is no supply chain – no storage. Just fresh seasonal produce. So go the natural and seasonal way by using nature’s ripening tool – just put the avocado in a paper bag with a ripe banana, apple or kiwi fruit and let the naturally occurring ethylene do its thing.
Now. Did someone say ‘Guacamole’?
Guacamole Dome with Tortilla Wedges (a variation on the theme)
- 1 cup corn oil
- 8 corn tortilla, each cut into 12 slim wedges
- 2-3 ripe avocados
- ½ medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 -2 Jalapeno peppers, deseeded and finely chopped (replace with red capsicum if not want hot)
- 1/3 cup of cilantro (basil) or flat leaf parsley
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tomato diced
- 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
In a fry pan heat oil over medium heat. Fry tortilla wedges in batches until crisp. With a slotted spoon transfer to paper towel and drain.
Cut avocados in half and remove pits. Scoop out avocado and put in a bowl to mash with a fork. Add onion, peppers, coriander or parsley, lime juice and salt. Mix well. Stir in tomato gently - do not muddy colour.
On a platter mound guacamole in the centre with a dome, Place cucumber slices around the edge. Arrange tortilla wedges points up all over the dome in pincushion fashion. Serve.