Monday, March 22, 2010

The Right Way to Store and Peel a Banana

Who knew that all this time I've been storing and peeling bananas the wrong way. Not only that, but I learned Banana 101 from my mother, so she's been doing it wrong all her life too! I've been a banana failure my whole life....that is until now!

I learned the 411 on bananas from a friend who works as a Senior Executive for the Pampered Chef and knows all types of cooking tips and tricks. Here's how you store a banana, how to open it properly, and how to keep it's current state for a few more days!

First, when you purchase bananas from a store and have a few days before you're going to eat them, select them with a little green in them. That means they are not quite ripe. It will take 2-3 days to ripen. If you want them to ripen faster, you can put them in a brown bag along with an apple and the gases from the apple will help them ripen. And here's a very neat trick, remove each banana from the stalk as separate bananas, and put them back in your fruit bowl or banana contraption, this helps slow their ripening. This will get a couple more days out of each banana before they go brown.

The most interesting thing I learned is I've been opening them wrong all this time. Instead of trying to open them from the stalk side, all you have to do is squeeze the black bottom with your thumb and index finger, which will split the peel. Then peel from what you think is the bottom of the banana. That way, the best part of the banana by the stalk is not damaged. This is the way monkeys open a banana if you've ever observed them at the zoo - or perhaps the silly monkeys at your own home. Check out this video on youtube (and if you have time, check out a "bunch" of videos on youtube "How to Peel a Banana" and you'll be amazed at how many people have taped themselves peeling a banana the right way!

By the way, the other slick trick is when the banana is in the state you want, put it in the refrigerator. The temperature will preserve the level of ripeness of that banana for up to 2 days, even if the peel starts to brown.

Well, I'm going to make like a banana now, and split!

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