Photo: Michelle McMahon/Getty Images

You squeeze an avocado at the supermarket. It feels both firm and squishy. You think to yourself: “Why, yes! This is a perfect avocado ready for my award-winning guacamole.” Then you return home, slice the avocado open and discover to your horror that this seemingly fully ripe avocado is, in fact, not. Your guacamole is an abysmal failure, your friends and family mock you, you fall into a deep depression and eventually file for personal bankruptcy. Such is life.

And to think: You could’ve avoided shame and mental collapse if only you correctly discerned whether your avocado was fully ripe or not.

There is actually a way.

Chicago chef and friend of The Takeout Rick Bayless stopped by our studio last year to teach us how to make his guacamole. And he dropped some serious avocado knowledge on us—specifically where to squeeze to tell an avocado’s ripeness.

The answer: The bulbous, fat, wide, round bottom. Give that end a squeeze or a press. If it’s squishy, you’re good to go. The reason? Because an avocado ripens from the stem end on down. If it’s ripe at the bottom, it’s ripe throughout.

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That’s it. Easy as that. Take this newfound knowledge and make that award-winning guacamole that will propel you to a lifetime of riches, success, and happiness.