27 November 2007

All hail the banana

So, I've been getting the most visits to my blog via people searching for Alton Brown and Good Eats. So, it seems only fair to my "fans" to talk about an episode I saw recently - Top Banana.

One thing I love about Good Eats is that they always tell you about the history of food - in this case did you know slipping on banana peels isn't just a cartoon standby?:

"About a decade after they [bananas] came into this country, they became very popular street foods. Since there were very few trash cans in urban areas, most people just gave them a fling. [flings skin off camera, we hear a man slip, yell, and fall] So many city dwellers were either injured or killed in banana related accidents that the peel became the poster child for the growing litter problem in America. Ironic, don't you think?"
(Transcript courtesy of the Good Eats Fan Page)

And unlike avocados that I blogged about previously, I also learned that bananas are one of the few fruits always picked green and allowed to ripen off of the "tree" (banana plants might look like trees but have no woody tissue and are therefore just large herbs). They actually taste best that way.

For more history of the banana, you can watch the first 10 minutes of the episode below - if you don't mind that the sound is slightly out of sync that is.

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