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How to Read a Banana

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Vegan Banana | Feed Your Skull

Oh bananas, how I love thee. You are my ultimate fast food. If you are ripe and ready, I grab a few several of you for a meal. You make smoothies creamy and add fiber, vitamins, and protein to their bulk. You’re delicious dehydrated and make wonderful banana bread and even cookies. I used to only like you green with a little bit of yellow and a ripe you repulsed me. Now that feeling is a complete 180 from what it used to be. I love a spotted banana, a little soft, and definitely ripe—a little too ripe and I GAG. When you are ripe, you are better digested, and taste better too. Sincerely, me.

How to read a banana. Why read the letters of course.

I jest. I jest.

A friend has this vintage-ads marketing calendar which is just FULL of interesting, crazy, and weird ads from years past.

There was one that especially stood out and it’s from Chiquita—Chiquita Brand Bananas to be exact. It goes through all the indicators and why, of how to pick out a perfect banana. Some I knew and several I didn’t.

I don’t know what year this is from, but I thought the sense of humor has stood the test of time. And if it is from a year when bananas weren’t as commonplace as they are now it probably helped quite a few people become familiar with this tropical fruit as well as solidify Chiquita’s brand.

How to Read a Banana | Feed Your Skull

Starting clockwise.

  1. Sugar spots: You know those little speckles you sometimes see on the peel. Like as not, they’re not speckles at all. They’re sugar spots. The mark of a sweet, ripe banana.
  2. The peel: The peel should be smooth and sleek. No wrinkles. A wrinkled peel means the banana has lost too much moisture. Which is no great tragedy – except that the texture of the meat might be a little chewy.
  3. The tip: The tip of the banana is a pretty good barometer of sweetness. If the tip is green and just starting toward yellow, the banana is ripe and sweet enough to eat. But is that when a banana tastes best? Some people say “eat.” Some people say “wait.” Us? We don’t get into family arguments.
  4. The label: If the label says Chiquita Brand Bananas, it means the banana has been pre-selected for you. It means it passed a 15-point inspection by some of the toughest inspectors in the business. Not once, but three separate times.
  5. The ridge: A good way to tell if a banana was picked a bit too early or right at its peak is by the sharpness of the ridge. The sharper the ridge, the younger the banana. We try to pick our bananas when the ridge is rounding. But not everybody is quite so fussy.

For more banana recipes, check out this tag.

Do you think there is still a 15-point inspection? How do you like your bananas?

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