We have all heard it. It's this universal truth that once you cut an avocado, you have to perform all kinds of voodoo magic to keep it from turning brown - put the pit in with guacamole, sprinkle with lemon or lime juice right away, pray to the avocado gods, etc. Otherwise, your avocado is going to go from creamy luscious green to brown in a matter of...seconds?
But for some reason, this universal truth didn't sit well with me. I love avocados, and unless the avocado has those horrible brown streaks and spots to begin with, I have rarely had the problem of it turning brown right away. I always wondered if I just got lucky somehow.
I did a test to see if avocados really do turn brown, and if so, how long it takes.
I sliced open an avocado at 10:30 am. I left the pit on one side just to see the effect. I think in some official clinical trials of avocado browning-ness, this might be called a "control." I places both halves of the avocado on the cutting board and left them on the counter. In the open air. I have no idea what the temperature was, but it was hot outside. Then again, the avocado browning problem has never mentioned temperature.
At 10:35, I checked them, since it seems that the fear of avocados turning brown is that that do so right away. Nothing. They looked exactly the same.
I checked again at 10:45. Nothing.
At 11:00, 30 minutes after the fruity flesh had been first exposed to air, they were still...the same.
I checked again every 15 minutes after that, and it was not until 4:45 that the avocados even started to show any semblance of brown on their green flesh. And it wasn't even a brown. It was more like a very light discoloration to beige. I think worse than the very slight color change, though, was that the avocado looked a little dry. The side that had the pit in it looked the same as the other side without the pit.
Conclusion: avocados turn brown after about 6 hours and 15 minutes.