642 Things #19 – The Banana

Alright, this one is less about why the banana is an excellent fruit – because it is – and more about when it’s actually ripe.

Some may argue that ripe is a preference. I’m hear to argue that ripeness is not subjective. At least when it comes to bananas. The banana’s ripeness is for intents and purposes standard. When a banana turns yellow? That’s not ripe. That’s near ripeness. Pre-ripeness, if you will. That’s like 85% ripe.

The banana is a fickle fruit. It grows green, is harvested green and more times than not, sits on the shelf only to ripen at home. The pinnacle of ripeness is short-lived as well. If you’re lucky, maybe more than three days.

So, that begs the question – when is a banana ripe and when is it over-ripe? Well, it’s all rather simple. The moment a banana develops those brown spots, you’re in the zone! Eat it immediately!

There are some that argue that is the point the banana becomes bad. You’re just wrong. Let me tell you why. The banana flavor at peak ripeness – aka the beginning of the brown spots – is the classic banana flavor. When companies imitate the banana flavoring for foods and drinks, that’s the target they’re going for.

Not sold yet? Ok, google “bananas” and you see photos like this. No doubt, classic banana photo.

That’s the banana. That’s the banana that everyone draws. But is it ripe? No. Not a chance.

Now, google “ripe bananas” and see what you get.

20120607-ripe-bananasWhaaaaaat?! Look, it has spots! Case settled. Ripe bananas are spotted.

Alright, still not convinced? Try this on for size. When Jelly Belly makes the Top Banana jelly bean, guess how it’s designed?


BAM! Now, it’s case closed. I’m glad you’ve come to my side of reason and we can now all agree that indeed, a ripe banana is when spots appear.

Sure, you may enjoy a pre-ripe banana, or even a post-ripe banana, but the facts are stated as above. Ripeness is brown spotted.

Good day.

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