Maintaining appeal

Bananas don’t grow around here no matter what the weather’s like, and there’s a lot of work involved in getting five or six of them to me every single week:

[I]n order to be a global commodity rather than a tropical treat, the banana has to be harvested and transported while completely unripe. Bananas are cut while green, hard, and immature, washed in cool water (both to begin removing field heat and to stop them from leaking their natural latex), and then held at 56 degrees — originally in a refrigerated steamship; today, in a refrigerated container — until they reach their country of consumption weeks later.

And then they’re ripened in a controlled environment until they reach whatever state is desired by vendors:

Banana colors by Chiquita

Since my usual routine is to polish off a single banana each day after work, I shop on Saturdays for bananas in the 3-4 range, expecting that Monday’s fruit will have made it nearly to 5. By the end of the week, I’m seeing solid 7s.

Of late, they’re ridiculously cheap: 50 cents a pound or thereabouts. I pay extra for the organics when they’re offered, since they seem to ripen a bit more slowly and carefully.

And because I can’t resist, here’s the late Harry Chapin describing what happened to several tons of them one day in the not-so-distant past.

(From the sidebar at American Digest.)

1 comment

  1. Laura »

    7 December 2011 · 2:00 pm

    I like to eat them at 6 and make pudding out of them at 7.

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