You’re Eating Bananas Wrong—Here’s The Right Way
By Olivia Tarantino
We’re not monkeying around here—you’ve likely been eating bananas wrong your whole life without knowing it.
How many times have you tried to peel open a banana from the stem only to be left with a bruised and bent fruit? Sometime you can’t even get the darn thing open! Although a deformed and browned banana isn't that big of a deal if you’re tossing it in a smoothie, it doesn’t look all that appetizing if you’re nibbling on it raw as a snack.
Luckily, you don’t have to struggle any longer. We’re about to reveal the best way to eat a banana.
You see, the stem of the common Cavendish banana (the species that stocks supermarket shelves) is the toughest part of the fruit. When you stop to think about it, it certainly makes sense why it should be so sturdy: the stem is where the fruit attaches to the rest of the cluster, and it’s what’s responsible for keeping the bananas attached to the plant.
Trying to open it by pinching the hardest part of the berry is going to be more difficult than breaking it from any other point. That’s why there’s a more efficient alternative.
Bananas growing on a tree. Did you know what we consider to be the “bottom” is actually the top? Bananas grow from the stem upwards.
So, contrary to how most of us have been doing it our entire lives, the best way to peel a banana is actually from upside down. (Which is really the right side up…) By pinching the bottom tip, you can open the banana without struggling to snap the stubborn stem!
Don’t peel bananas from the stem. Pinch them at the tip, or what most people think of as the “bottom.”
As an added bonus, this method also helps you discard of the pesky black mass at the tip of the banana. Contrary to rumors surrounding what this part of the banana actually is—which range from spider eggs to a sterile seed—it’s actually what’s left over from when the banana was a flower, according to research in the Annals of Botany and corroborated by Dr. John Elfick of The University of Queensland in Australia.
In a diagram he created in conjunction with The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for a web-based science lesson resource, he described the black end as “the remains of perianth, stigma, and style,” three of the reproductive parts of the flower.
Peeling bananas from the end opposite the stem also makes it easy to discard that black seed-like mass at the end of the berry. This black tip is actually the remains of the banana flower, not a seed. Cultivated bananas do have seeds, but they’re actually the three rows of tiny black dots you see throughout the length of the banana.
Now that you know the best way to open a banana, why don’t you start cooking with one of our favorite fruits by trying one of these 17 Amazing Ways to Eat a Banana.
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