Thursday, June 4, 2009

Small Hand

Large Hand

Bananas Being Sold in a Market in India

Everybody loves bananas, part of the reason they are the top selling fruit in the world. The prices really haven't changed much in the last 20 years due to the grip major brands like Dole have on third world economies.

Bananas produce lots of ethylene gas (a natural ripening agent) that speeds up the ripening process. I recommend buying yellow bananas with green tips (called stage 3 ripeness). At this stage, they should easily last 4-5 days on your kitchen counter. Fruit with yellow tips is ripe and must be eaten quickly before it spoils.

When buying bananas, also make sure the fruit has not been dumped onto the display. The fruit will be bruised and blacken quickly. If the bananas are ripe, always remove the plastic bag when you get home to slow down the ripening process (the plastic traps the ethylene gas). Paper bags have little effect ripening fruit, this was the method used before the invention of the plastic bag.

No.1 grade bananas are bigger, longer and the quality is better. Bunches are called "hands". No.2 bananas are shorter, smaller and normally can be bought for less. You get more rind and less fruit when you purchase small bananas.

Store bananas with their bottoms face up, this prevents bruising and extends their longevity. The best storage method is to hang them.


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