The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat bananas. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.
What bananas etiquette is
Bananas etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat bananas. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow bananas etiquette to appropriately serve them to your guests.
If you are a guest, respect bananas etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy them.
What you should know about bananas
A banana is an edible fruit. Many varieties exist, but the most popular in commerce is the Cavendish.
Bananas have an elongated and curved shape. Their rind is thick, and yellow to red in color. The flesh is pale yellow in color, and firm and moist in texture.
Etiquette tips to serve and eat bananas
1) How to store bananas
Store bananas out of the fridge if they are not ripe. Store them in a cool place. Away from sources of heat or direct light. Keep them there for 2 to 3 days, until they ripen.
You can store bananas in the fridge. Avoid placing them in a sealed container. Do not wrap them in plastic. They will last for 5 to 7 days. However, it is best to avoid it. In the fridge, the rind and flesh of the banana in the fridge start turning brown. Further, they may affect other foods stored in the fridge, such as cheese that may absorb the smell of banana.
In the freezer, bananas will last for 10 or 12 months.
2) How to clean bananas
You do not need to wash bananas.
However, it is a good hygiene norm to wash a banana before eating it. Even a quick wash decreases the risk of contamination from pesticides or other chemicals. Place the banana for a few seconds under running water.
3) How to prepare bananas
Peel the banana with your fingers. Then slice or mash the flesh.
Use bananas for pies, tarts, or desserts such as banana bread. Make preserves, smoothies, or milkshakes. Add banana to fruit salads, yogurt, or ice cream. Squeeze lemon juice on raw bananas to prevent them from discoloring.
Some varieties are especially fit for cooking, such as plantains. You can fry, bake, or grill them.
4) How to serve & present bananas
You can serve bananas for breakfast, as a snack, or as a fruit course after a meal.
If you serve them whole, do not remove the skin. Present them washed, in a serving bowl.
Serve sliced bananas in a fruit bowl. Present them with a serving spoon. Alternatively, you can serve sliced bananas in small individual cups. You can accompany them with sugar, cream, yogurt, mascarpone, or ice cream.
Serve bananas at room temperature. If you store them in the fridge, take them out between 30 minutes and 1 hour before serving.
5) Food and wine to pair bananas with
Bananas combine well with many aromas. Cinnamon. Vanilla. Caramel. Ginger. Cardamom. Honey. Chocolate. Coffee.
You can pair bananas in a fruit salad with several fruits. Apples, cherries, or peaches. Tropical fruits, such as mango, coconut, guava, papaya, or pineapple. Berries such as strawberries or blueberries. Citrus, such as lemon, lime, or orange. Nuts such as hazelnuts or walnuts.
Bananas pair well with fortified wine or spirits. Madeira wine. Rum. Calvados. Brandy. You can pair it with white wine too. Such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
6) How to eat bananas
When bananas are served whole, place one on your plate. Peel the banana with your fingers. Discard the skin. Then eat it with a fork and a knife.
Eat a banana in bites only on very informal occasions. You should avoid it at the dining table.
If the bananas are served in chunks, eat them with a teaspoon or a fork.
Bananas etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst bananas etiquette mistakes.
- 8/10. Serving spoiled bananas.
- 8/10. Eating bananas in bites on a formal occasion.
- 7/10. Serving unripe bananas.
- 5/10. Eating chunks of banana with your fingers.
Additional information for properly serving bananas
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.
Bananas contain 89 calories per 100 grams. A medium-sized banana weighs around 120 grams and contains about 106 calories.
How to buy the best bananas
A crucial factor in bananas etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.
Season and availability
Bananas are available all year round.
Choose the best
Buy ripe bananas if you are going to eat them within 1 or 2 days. Ripe bananas have small black or dark brown spots on their skin. They should feel firm, without soft spots. Bananas with large dark spots, soft spots, or a strong smell are likely over-ripe.
Bananas with green areas on their skin are underripe. Buy them if you plan to eat them after a couple of days.