The Banana Rule You’ve Likely Been Breaking

Bananas have become a staple in most homes in the United States, but there was a time when they were considered a rare tropical fruit. They didn’t start appearing on store shelves until the early 1800s, when merchants would buy them from local markets in the Caribbean and have them shipped to the U.S. Despite being the third most popular fruit in the U.S., many people don’t know the most crucial rule of keeping bananas from spoiling. It generally takes a banana 8 days to ripen from the time they’re picked — 3-4 days if they’re purchased green and approximately 1-2 days if you buy them when they’re yellow. The tricky part is getting those bananas to your preferred ripeness and keeping them there for as long as possible. Bananas naturally emit a molecule called ethylene gas, and that gas hastens fruit ripening. There’s a simple way for you to slow down that process, which is by breaking up the bunch. Bunches of bananas ripen much faster because of the abundance of ethylene gas. If you want to ripen your bananas slower, don't leave them bunched together. To speed the process of ripening even more, place them in a paper bag with an apple or tomato. If you're impatiently craving homemade banana bread and lack ripe bananas, the fastest solution is to poke holes in the peels and put the bananas in the microwave.