Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Recently our commercial kitchen got some bunches of bananas with a curious feature. On the inside they were firm and delicious (no jokes, please), but on the outside they looked incredibly sickly. Specifically, they had this grey/green/brownish yellow with lots of black spots, some of them with depth. I've been told that some bananas, such as those from the Canary Islands, look like this, but ours are Cavendishes*. Over a chilly weekend, neither the peels nor the inside seemed to change very much.

What sorts of things can we do to make healthy-tasting bananas look ripe at the appropriate times? We actually had to post a sign explaining the situation so that people would eat them!

*Cavendishs? Cavendish's?

share|improve this question
It sounds to me like they were refrigerated. Cavendish/dessert bananas will develop a sickly grey-green hue when refrigerated. It doesn't affect the flavor or texture, though. – mikeTheLiar Feb 4 '13 at 22:19
Don't Cavendishes always get spots when they're very ripe? – Jefromi Feb 5 '13 at 0:00
These are spots I'd normally associate with bananas so overripe that they could only be used for cooking or with diseased bananas. For example, the spots on these bananas often have depth to them. – rsegal Feb 5 '13 at 0:05
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Alright, I'll go ahead and post this as an answer.

The fact of the matter is the Cavendish/dessert bananas should not be refrigerated. They will develop a sickly green/grey tinge to their skin. This does not really affect flavor, texture, or to the best of my knowledge, nutritional value, but it makes them look like ass.

Now, to the crux of your issue: you say this is a commercial kitchen. And herein lies your problem: your produce almost certainly gets delivered in a refrigerated truck. What the delivery drivers should be doing, but almost certainly aren't, is wrapping the bananas (and tomatoes, but I digress) in a nice heavy blanket. But let's be realistic, no truck driver is going to waste time doing that. So your bananas (and tomatoes!) are showing up, pre-refrigerated by your produce purveyor. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

Or is there?

There is something you can do. But it won't be easy, or particularly fun, unless you're a sadistic bastard who likes yelling at people. Get yourself a laser thermometer and meet the delivery truck when it rolls up. When the door opens, temp the bananas. (Actually, you should do this with every time/temperature sensitive product you receive.) If the bananas are less than ~50° F, send 'em back. Demand a fresh case. Refuse to pay. Keep doing it until you get the bananas you want. After a few rounds, your driver will make damn sure the bananas are perfect.

share|improve this answer
Thanks! I was hoping there was a nicer way out, but this seems to be the consensus. – rsegal Feb 5 '13 at 3:46
@rsegal If you haven't read it, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Kitchen Confidential. Not only is it a great read, particularly for people in the industry, but he also shares his techniques for getting deliveries on time and correct. – mikeTheLiar Feb 5 '13 at 13:57

As you mentioned the bananas were delicious,so there is no problem with the fertilizers and watering of plant. As my parents used to do it they pluck the half ripe bananas from the banana tree,but atleast bananas have grown to its normal length and thickness,there after you just keep the plucked ones in your home it will ripe by self within 2-3 days.but before plucking,you must consider some points regarding the texture of it peel & smell it should not be properly green. it must have slightly sweet smell of ripening,which shows that its about to ripe properly after some days. dig your nail in its peel(not with pressure)its just to check whether it is in ripening state,if you feels it soft then you can pluck it.

this is here i am sharing by my experience and what i came to know by time.hope it would help you out.

in last you mentioned that it usually have spots, they indicate that the starch inside the fruit has turned to sugar. here is the link you can refer

i also experienced the same that it results in delicious bananas,so i keep it in mind while purchasing from grocery stores.

share|improve this answer
@Mong134 says ,in case if you refrigerated,that what you shouldn't with results in damaging its sweetness as well as smell. which will not be as delicious it should be naturally. – Sunishtha Singh Feb 4 '13 at 22:51 here is the link might be help out you. – Sunishtha Singh Feb 4 '13 at 22:55
We get regular deliveries, so this answer is interesting but doesn't yet contain the information we'll need to prevent this sort of occurrence in the future. – rsegal Feb 4 '13 at 23:46
@rsegal what is the key points you are seeking for?as you mentioned in question about the texture improvement and patches on the bananas peel.what else remaining,as here in above comments i provided you link to your cavendish . – Sunishtha Singh Feb 6 '13 at 8:31
What we could do about it. I always didn't come away from having read your answer understanding where the sickly peel color came from. Because those were the core parts of the question, I couldn't accept your answer without them. – rsegal Feb 6 '13 at 13:18

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.