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Bananas

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Larry Greenly

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Bananas

by Larry Greenly » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:31 pm

Last night I had a banana, a mango, and some blackberries, so I made a simple dessert from them, using a few drops of a strawberry-balsamic vinegar.

I have learned to peel my bananas like monkeys (they have been doing it for millions of years). I pinch the end opposite the stem, and it peels very easily, unlike the times you may squash the stem-end portion of the banana when the stem is recalcitrant.

I peel mangoes in one of two ways:

1. Holding the seed inside in a vertical position, I slice the sides off, slice the flesh into cubes up to the skin, and then invert the skin.
2. Using a large spoon, I just spoon out the flesh and then slice or cube.

I use number two above for peeling avocados.

How about your peeling techniques on various foodstuffs?
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Re: Bananas

by Robin Garr » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:37 pm

Larry, I often use a ceramic knife to peel fruit like pears and kiwis. It does a great job of lifting off the peel with very little of the fruit.

As for bananas, though, I'm not a fan. I call them the natural fruit with the artificial flavor. :P
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Re: Bananas

by Larry Greenly » Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:12 am

Robin Garr wrote:As for bananas, though, I'm not a fan. I call them the natural fruit with the artificial flavor. :P


Then I guess you wouldn't like the smell of amyl acetate for an aftershave, which might attract monkeys. :wink:

For kiwis, I sometimes peel 'em, other times cut 'em in half and scoop out the fruit with a spoon.
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Re: Bananas

by Jeff Grossman » Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:50 am

I peel bananas from the stem end. I make sure to cut into it with my thumbnail so that the stem tears open and does not squash the top of the fruit.

I'm not a fan of mangoes, really, so I'm happy to leave the difficult cutting job to someone else, if at all.

I do avocados using the two ways you outline. If I want slices, then cut in half, remove the pit (I swing the knife blade into it and then pull it out), and work a tablespoon all around the flesh just inside the jacket. The half comes out intact and you can slice it. If I'm going to mash it anyway then I go your first route: cut a grid pattern into the flesh with a paring knife and scoop it all out.

You didn't say how you peel blackberries.
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Re: Bananas

by Rahsaan » Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:14 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:I'm not a fan of mangoes, really....


Say what now?!! The deliciousness is too easy and delicious for you?!
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Re: Bananas

by Larry Greenly » Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:08 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:You didn't say how you peel blackberries.


Very carefully. Raspberries are even harder.

For yucks sometime, just try peeling from other end to note difference.
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Re: Bananas

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:13 am

Rahsaan wrote:
Jeff Grossman wrote:I'm not a fan of mangoes, really....


Say what now?!! The deliciousness is too easy and delicious for you?!


Mango is good but not so good that I need to buy them, peel them. In some uses they develop a slick, gummy texture that is very unappealing. I order mango lassi when I can, and it's good dried/sugared in a trail mix kind of thing.
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Re: Bananas

by Peter May » Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:12 am

I've heard about opening bananas from other end and may even have tried it once, but I've not had any problems with opening bananas from the stem end.

Mangoes: I brought home a mango peeler from Thailand, but the mangoes are so disappointing here I don't buy them any more. But when we were in the Cape last month we had a fruit salad of mango, papaya and nectarine at breakfast and I peeled the mango and papaya with a potato peeler before cutting into bite size chunks.

Kiwi fruits, cut in half and scoop out innards with tea spoon
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Re: Bananas

by Jenise » Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:16 pm

Larry--re bananas and mangoes, ditto. But no avocados. After halving, I scoop the entire fruit out of the skin with a large spoon, then depending on end use slice/cube/crush it, cut side down. But frankly, the majority of avocados consumed here get cut in half, salted and eaten right out of the shell. It's one of my personal #1 food groups. I never not have any on hand. While in lockdown, restocking my avo's is one of the primary reasons for leaving the house.

BUT SPEAKING OF BANANAS, Larry I thought of you while watching a new cookbook author interviewed the other day. Didn't catch her name, but it's all about dealing with scraps. She grinds up banana peels and makes cake out of them! I watched a demo, looked great. And she said one of her other favorite recipes in the book--this also reminded me of you!--was for a beet peel martini. This is all so up your alley.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Bananas

by Rahsaan » Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:50 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:Mango... a slick, gummy texture that is very unappealing..


I guess I can see that. But sounds like underripe specimens. We eat a considerable amount of mangoes during the season (easily 3-4 a day myself) and the dominant texture is luscious and melt-in-mouth soft. Which admittedly is my favorite fruit texture and the reason I prize mangoes, melons, peaches and nectarines over apples and pears.
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Re: Bananas

by Robin Garr » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:16 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
Jeff Grossman wrote:Mango... a slick, gummy texture that is very unappealing..


I guess I can see that. But sounds like underripe specimens. We eat a considerable amount of mangoes during the season (easily 3-4 a day myself) and the dominant texture is luscious and melt-in-mouth soft. Which admittedly is my favorite fruit texture and the reason I prize mangoes, melons, peaches and nectarines over apples and pears.

My thing about mangoes is more in the middle ground. I like them, but I have a problem because they remind me of peaches (with a whiff of pine needles), and since I love ripe regional peaches more than any other fruit, I end up rating the mango as sort of an inferior and rather disappointing peach. :P

I'm not proud of this, just entering the conversation with a firm if mildly embarrassing opinion.
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Re: Bananas

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:32 pm

OK, so, if we're going to talk about peeling things that actually require a technique: butternut squash. Typically, it's hard enough to serve as a weapon in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. How do you soften it enough to cut it, peel it, scoop it?
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Re: Bananas

by Barb Downunder » Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:05 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:OK, so, if we're going to talk about peeling things that actually require a technique: butternut squash. Typically, it's hard enough to serve as a weapon in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. How do you soften it enough to cut it, peel it, scoop it?


If your butter it’s are similar to those I know it just requires a decent cooks knife to cut, once the skin is breached it is easier. Scoop out the seeds with a sturdy spoon. It too bad.
Mind you I grew up with Queensland blue pumpkins which require an axe or a chainsaw!
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Re: Bananas

by Rahsaan » Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:26 am

Robin Garr wrote:My thing about mangoes is more in the middle ground. I like them, but I have a problem because they remind me of peaches (with a whiff of pine needles), and since I love ripe regional peaches more than any other fruit, I end up rating the mango as sort of an inferior and rather disappointing peach.


I agree that for most people in the US, the best peach is going to be better than the best mango, because there are no local mangoes outside of Florida and Hawaii.

But in my experience, peaches are a much more fickle and sensitive fruit than mangoes. Even with the best local organic farmers, peaches have such variation in texture and ripeness and are less likely to be firing on all deliciousness cylinders. The shipped mangoes we get that have gone through various distribution chains are still more likely to provide a solid eating experiences.

That said, I always prefer farmers market food when given the option. But I never actually have to make this decision. The spring imported mango season usually ends at some point in May and then peaches go July - early August, and then the Florida mangoes come online in late August September. Seamless!
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Re: Bananas

by Rahsaan » Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:29 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:OK, so, if we're going to talk about peeling things that actually require a technique: butternut squash. Typically, it's hard enough to serve as a weapon in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. How do you soften it enough to cut it, peel it, scoop it?


My wife used to peel butternut squash for cooking in cubes and then mashing/pureeing for risotto. I guess it's just a question of how hard the squash is and how sharp your peeling implement is. But I never do that. I usually halve the squash, roast it, and then scoop out the cooked (and more flavorful) result for use in other dishes.
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Re: Bananas

by Jeff Grossman » Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:16 pm

The ones I get here are too hard to peel at all. They can be cut with a knife, so OK if I plan to roast it. But if I want cubes for mashing or other purposes, I'll give the big pieces 10 minutes in the microwave oven first. Once it cools, it is then a lot more manageable -- malleable! -- and I can go on with whatever the recipe is.
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Re: Bananas

by Jenise » Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:47 pm

Clever solution, Jeff--would not have thought of it. I have to admit that most encounters with Butternuts result in me getting a few nicks.
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Re: Bananas

by Peter May » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:06 pm

I found a whole butternut too much, but when I bought them they were a pain but I used a potato peeler.

But now I buy a bag of cubed butternut and sweet potato from the chilled shelf at the supermarket to use as a base for curry or stew (actually not much a difference between curry & stew)
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Re: Bananas

by Larry Greenly » Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:56 am

Most likely a latex allergy, which is present in both fruit.
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Re: Bananas

by Jeff Grossman » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:49 pm

I've read that bad reactions to mango are sometimes conditioned on having had exposure to poison ivy.

I can't say that I've ever heard of anyone allergic to bananas. That's unusual and unfortunate!
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Re: Bananas

by Paul Winalski » Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:48 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:I peel mangoes in one of two ways:

1. Holding the seed inside in a vertical position, I slice the sides off, slice the flesh into cubes up to the skin, and then invert the skin.


David Suchet demonstrates exactly this technique in one of the Poirot episodes.

-Paul W.
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Re: Bananas

by Jenise » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:19 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:
Larry Greenly wrote:I peel mangoes in one of two ways:

1. Holding the seed inside in a vertical position, I slice the sides off, slice the flesh into cubes up to the skin, and then invert the skin.


David Suchet demonstrates exactly this technique in one of the Poirot episodes.

-Paul W.


A friend who grew up in Kenya showed me this. But it's part of a bigger story: go to a beautiful beach in Mombasa, pick a perfectly ripe mango off a nearby tree, operate on it as above, wade into the water, eat, let it drip where it will and it will, then dip in for a quick rinse. Then: go get another mango.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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