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Jun 9, 2008 08:38 AM

Why won't my bananas ripen?

I loathe overly ripe bananas so I always buy them slightly green. Usually they're fine once they've been in the fruit bowl for a couple of days but I've had my current bunch for almost a week and they're still hard as a rock and frankly, vile. I've just thrown one away after finding it was almost crisp in texture, with none of the lovely banana flavour.

I'm assuming that they're never going to ripen now. I've never had this before - any thoughts?

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  1. While I can't give you a technical explanation for this phenomenon, I can tell you that I have observed it. While working as a produce clerk for a Shop-Rite supermarket (about 43 years ago!!), we once got a shipment of bananas that was just like what you described.

    After a few customers returned what they had bought, it became obvious that those bananas were pretty similar in consistency to wood, even after a few weeks. Most of the customers did not bring their bananas back, but the few who did were given a refund.

    Trust me--you are not the only customer who got bad bananas from the market where you bought them. Bring back the remainder for a refund.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ted in Central NJ

      If I can be bothered, I will. They're happy, organic, fairtrade bananas as well. :-(

    2. That happened to me last week, and occasionally at other times as well. It's a mystery...

      1. I used to work in produce warehouse for A&P. We had banana rooms where the bananas would be stored and gassed with ethylene to a certain point of ripeness (light green) before being sent to the store. There are times where the gass is blocked from getting into the boxes and they don't get gassed. If you were to take them and put them in a paper bag with an apple or two they would ripen in a few days as apples give off ethylene gas

        1 Reply
        1. re: Eric in NJ

          That's interesting. Unfortunately, I don't have any apples (they're out of season, so I don't buy them).

        2. Probably mishandled (e.g. frozen) during transport.

          1. The apple-in-a-bag advice is very good.. works for me. Sometimes I do that with green platanos (plantains) to ripen them to get a more intense "banana" flavor. I ripen my avocados in a bag with a bruised apple too.