Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lust For Bananas

Bite Me!

Has anybody under age 50 ever gotten worked up over the simple banana? It’s not juicy like an orange or a grapefruit. It’s not sweet like a plum or a peach. And it's certainly not flamboyant like a pineapple or a watermelon.

Peel off the protective coating and what you’ve got is a boring chalky conical stalk. Bite it and you experience a taste that's so understated you probably can't describe it to me right now even if you've already had one today.

Even its color is insipid. Not Green as in Go! Not Red as in Stop!

It’s Yellow as in Hang Around and Wait for Stuff.

But as the years roll on, Nature has a change planned for us all. It begins the first time you hear those five simple words from your doctor:

 “Bananas are rich in potassium.”  

Frankly, I had never realized potassium was something anyone needed unless they were making fertilizer. But apparently as we age we need potassium every bit as much as we need friends who will lie to us about how good we look. And so I came to wonder if it might be possible to actually eat of these dullards of the fruit family rather than just carve it up into my Cheerios.

So that’s what I did.

And Lust for Bananas became my life!

Lust for Bananas is marked by the sudden passion to consume a fruit that throughout most of our lives has served as little more than set decoration.

It’s hardly ambrosia. The wonder of the banana lies in its very blandness.  A banana is the ultimate multi-purpose food, just right for every oldster occasion. 

Steak and potatoes a bit too heavy? Have a nice banana! 

Ice cream too cold and sweet? A banana’s just right!

Vodka? Even better with a banana chaser!

Nowadays I always keep a supply on hand, shopping for bananas even when I have nothing else to shop for. My kitchen contains so many of them they could have supplied Carmen Miranda with fruit for her headdress for the whole of her iconic career.

If Lust for Bananas makes no sense to you, you clearly aren’t a Boomer.

But if you get it, why not stop over?

We’ll open up a couple bananas, put on Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song,” and talk potassium levels.

Even I'm not old enough to see bananas this way yet!

(And for some actual factual about bananas, please check out the words of Real Food for Life experts Randy Fritz and Diana Herrington, at


Junying Kirk said...

I love bananas, Perry, for different reasons from you, of course :)

Very interesting post and I hope more people heed your advice and share your lust for bananas - they are definitely good for you, no matter what age and even if you can't describe what they taste like :) I just hope that supermarkets in the UK will forsake those shining good looking ones and start importing those less perfect in appearance but sweeter in taste :)

Perry Block said...

Thanks, Junying.

It really is true that bananas somehow become more interesting the older you get. I remember my grandfather talking about eating a banana a day to "get his potassium" years ago. Maybe we oldsters are just craving the potassium.

If you love bananas already, by the time you're my age you'll be buying out the store. And never wanting for potassium ...

Sweeter in taste? Nah, they're not sweet!