Sunday, January 31, 2021

Go Bananas

This is about the ongoing struggle I have over bananas.  No, this is not a recap of the history of the phallic shaped fruit.  Go do your own banana research if you’re curious.  I will say, it is interesting history with some great examples of depravity.  Leave it to mankind to start wars over something as simple as a natural fruit.


This commentary is regarding the personal struggle I face each time I pick out bananas at the grocery store.  


I shop the produce section towards the end of my shopping adventures.  This is something I learned from my mother.  Produce goes into the cart last.  This helps prevents the produce from getting squished by heavier items. A mom knows best lesson.


Venturing into the produce section is my favorite part of grocery shopping.  I start looking around to see how many people are in the section. The battle of navigation within the produce section becomes a test of patience.  


Mentally running through my produce list,

Onions, Garlic, Apples, Broccoli, Green Onions, Peppers, Carrots (maybe), Mushrooms, and Bananas….


I know how well the quality of the produce will be in general by the condition of the green onions, so I always hit up the green onions first.  


Sifting through the pile of green onions, I note to myself, they are not great.  


After finding a bunch of green onions that I approve of, I glance over towards the banana section, anticipating the coming personal struggle.  


Moving on to the mushrooms. I riffle through the cartons of mushrooms, sizing up the quality differences between the Mini Bella and standard white mushrooms.  


The Minis make the cut this time.  


Placing them in my cart, I push on to the peppers, again looking towards the banana section.   After finding the better of the peppers, I blaze through to the other side of the produce section.  Dodging the other docile shoppers too caught up in their phones and reading their digital shopping lists or unaware of how much space they take up while reprimanding their child for fingering all the produce, I continue.  


I breeze past the Broccoli grabbing a stock, giving it a firm squeeze for quality.


Grabbing a produce bag, I load up on apples.   It’s always ether Gala or Fuji.  Fuji are my favorite for snaking on, but Gala always seems to be in better condition regardless of season.  


Tying a knot in the bag of apples and placing them into my cart, I look across the produce section again. Thinking to myself only two more items before its banana time.  


Pushing my cart along the back aisle of the produce section, the traffic is not much.  I make a sharp left into the row that has potatoes and onions on one side and bananas on the other.  


Keeping my back to the bananas and focusing on the onions, I begin to assess onion quality.  Yellow, red, white, who’s going to win?


The garlic is right next to the onions.  So, I find the healthiest, fattest bulb of garlic and toss it into my cart before turning around and facing my banana nemesis.


With my cart next to me, I slowly turn around to take in all the glory of the yellow fruit.  Lately, the produce employees seem to be color-organizing the bananas.  Green to yellow to starting to spot, to spotting a lot.  They also seem to try and organize them by bunch size, singles to large stocks.  


I am not a major banana consumer.  I can take them or leave them.   When I think of snacking on a fruit, I crave apples.  


My wife likes bananas.


Knowing shelf life for bananas is short, I have a hard time picking out bananas.  Get too many, you have to eat them faster so they don’t ripen too far.  Don’t get enough then you have to back to the store and do this again.  


Finding the right bundle of bananas at the right ripeness that will last you through the next 5-7 days becomes a battle at that moment.  Especially when you know you won’t eat them daily.  And you are limited to the selection at that time which isn’t always the best. 

So much consideration goes into this decision. 


I find myself standing in front of the bananas for a long time.  Other shoppers pass by, pardoning themselves as they quickly pick out a bundle of bananas.   Then, there are those shoppers that pick up a large bundle of bananas and break off a section taking the bananas they want from that bundle. 

For some reason that drives me a little crazy.  I cringe inside as I observe this behavior play out in front of me. 

At some point, I mentally slap myself and say come on already grab and go.  Besides, bananas are only $0.55 a pound today. 


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