[nafex] Bananas

Claude Sweet sweetent at home.com
Thu May 10 23:12:26 EDT 2001


Don Yellman wrote:

> Incidentally, bananas are one fruit that absolutely has to be picked green.  If left on the tree after achieving full size, every banana will split open on the stalk.  I say this because I have split quite a few bananas.
 
> Rgds, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

I never have had banana fruit split unless the plant has become water
stressed. When irrigation is applied, the fruit pulp will quickly swell
and the inelastic skin will split because of the increased internal
pressure.
 
Here in San Diego, CA, I grow several different types of bananas and I
prefer to allow the fruit to ripen on the stalk so I remove each "hand"
of bananas when the have fully matured and reached their peak flavor.
They taste much different (better) than the same cultivar picked green.

Commercial growers harvest bananas 6 weeks prior to the time the first
hand would ripen on the stalk so the fruit can be shipped by boat to the
USA and other export markets. The difference between this commercial
fruit and one allowed to ripen on the stalk in San Diego is impossible
to believe until someone has experienced it. The same full taste and
flavor is true with pineapples and papaya grown in Hawaii that are
harvested when plant/tree ripe.

I must harvest a stalk of bananas green or when the top hand of fruit is
just starting to color, the entire stalk will quickly ripen and I can't
consume the fruit fast enough to avoid spoilage. I end up giving bananas
to a family with several children who rather eat the tree ripe fruit
than candy.

In our subtropical climate, the timing of the flower stalk appearing is
very important. If it emerges in the early spring, the fruit will mature
and ripen prior to cooler days and nights of our fall. A stalk that
emerges in late summer will remain on the tree and not mature until the
following spring/summer when our weather becomes warmer.

Commercial growers in Israel actually have determined what height an
offshoot should be in order to produce quality fruit for their target
market season for export to brokers in Europe. On a specific day(s), the
growers remove all offshoots that are smaller and larger then the
preferred size each year.  

Claude Sweet

 

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