I did not realize it was possible to feel secondhand embarrassment for an inanimate object. Not until someone sent me an Avo Saver. What in god's name is this thing? I asked myself as I unwrapped the green plastic orb, replete with a tiny harness, from a cardboard box it was sent in as part of a promo from Genius Kitchen. A car seat for my uneaten halves of fruit? An S&M accoutrement meant to spice up my refrigerator's sex life?
It turns out, the Avo Saver is a remarkably inexpensive kitchen tool meant to prolong the life of your leftover avocado halves — or, according to the far more dramatic Avo Saver product description, "reduce a cut avocado's exposure to air, greatly slowing the destructive oxidization process." As I write this, you can find one on Amazon for a very reasonable $4.37, which is about the same price as two avocados at my local grocery store.
Still, dear reader, I will admit I openly mocked the Avo Saver:
Almost immediately after I posted those pictures on Instagram Stories, multiple friends slid into my DMs to defend the Avo Saver's honor. "I love mine . . . and I got mom one, too," my sister countered. "Omg we have it! It's great," my friend Jackie enthused. "It does look like a strap on!! However, it totally works!"
Putting the Avo Saver to the Test
These messages made me realize my shame over owning and potentially using such a yuppie-esque and seemingly unnecessary kitchen tool did not overwhelm my curiosity as to whether it would actually work. This is because, like most millennials, our shared addiction to avocados has rendered my boyfriend and me unable to afford a roof over our heads, and we eke out our healthy-fats-fueled existence by working odd jobs in the gig economy and selling sponsored Snapchat posts. (Just kidding. We live in an apartment and both have regular full-time jobs. But we do really, really love avocados.)
I decided to devise a controlled experiment. On Friday morning I stopped at the grocery store, where I grabbed two avocados that were about the same size and ripeness. I decided to skip the organic kind, guessing that chemical-ridden avocados that had been mistreated all their lives might be more susceptible to the "destructive oxidization process." I was already pretty skeptical of the Avo Saver; last year I tried a viral trick that promised wrapping avocados in foil and baking them at low heat for 20 minutes or so would make them ripe. (FYI, it actually just makes them warm and ruined.)
At lunchtime, I cut both avocados in half. They looked remarkably similar; they weren't going to win any avocado beauty contests, but they were decent. I kept the half with the pit in it from both avocados. Some people argue leaving the pits in helps the browning process, and the Avo Saver features a cutout meant for the pit to nestle in, anyway. One avocado had a brown spot I decided to wedge out with a knife. I put both of them in the refrigerator: the lefthand avocado in the Avo Saver and the righthand one in a regular resealable sandwich bag.
It had been 24 hours, and I wanted to see how my avocados had held up. I took both out of the refrigerator and was surprised to find they looked pretty much the same. They'd both gotten a little browner and spottier, but there were no major differences. (The Avo Saver avocado is once again on the left and the sandwich-bag version is on the right.)
Another 24 hours went by. The avocados (Avo Saver on the left, plastic bag on the right) had both gotten slightly funkier looking, but nothing had changed dramatically. Again, I couldn't really tell any significant difference between the two. I also decided that 36 hours was long enough for this experiment to go on because eating a four-day-old avocado sounded really unappealing. Also, I was hungry. I tried slices of each one — they tasted the same. Truly, the one I'd kept in a plastic bag was maybe even a little more buttery.
The Avo Saver didn't really seem to do anything miraculous when it came to preserving the avocado I kept in it, but it did work just as well as other storage methods I've tried. And there is a major upside to this tool: it's a far less wasteful method than the one I typically use, which is to plop my leftover avocado half in a disposable plastic bag. (I know. Don't @ me.) With that in mind, is the Avo Saver worth the cost of a single morning latte? I'd say so.