The problem started after I brought them home. As I am always hungry, I tried to peel one for a snack. I tugged at the top, squished at the bottom. The banana would not open.
Finally, I got a knife and sliced it. Rather than meeting squishy banana flesh, I found a rock solid interior. It was downright crunchy. One sniff told me it was astringent and decidedly not ripe.
Ok, I thought, that’s fine. I’ll wait a few days. Perhaps I bought a “green” bunch but couldn’t tell because they’re red. No sweat.
A few days went by- I tried again. No dice. The banana was still hard. (TWSS!)
So, I googled. According to a comment on Chow, “They don’t give strong visual cues, but they do get a little softer as they ripen, and the skin will become more tender, yielding easily to pressure from a thumbnail. Try one every day or so and you should develop a sense of when they’re ready.” And Melissa’s Produce said pretty much the same thing. Apparently these beauties have a slight raspberry flavor, although I’m pretty sure I will never taste it.
It’s been a week now of watching and waiting- being tormented by their steely presence. They’re mocking me, daring me to throw them away only to ripen in the trash.
I will not give in! They have become more than a banana to me- they are a challenge! My personal science experiment.
And they will sit on my counter until they ripen and I get to try their sweet glory or they are ambushed by fruit flies.
Whichever comes first.