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Think You Know How To Peel A Banana? Think Again

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Rachael Funnell

Social Editor and Staff Writer

clockApr 1 2022, 12:58 UTC
how to peel a banana

Think you know how to peel a banana? Think again.

Bananas aren’t actually a natural part of wild monkeys’ diets who, while fond of fruits in their natural environments, only come across the sugary berry (botanically speaking) in human settings, but it seems some of our closest relatives may have a better grip of these fruits than we do.

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"The entire wild monkey-banana connection in fact is total fabrication," said Professor Katharine Milton of University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in the dietary ecology of Primates, to Business Insider.

"The edible banana is a cultivated domesticated plant and fruit. Wild monkeys never encounter bananas at all ever unless they are around human habitation where bananas are or have been planted."

They might not be the original banana eaters, but they've been honored in a technique some call the "monkey method" owing to the way some animals get their feet involved when peeling a banana.

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The pivotal consideration when working out how to peel a banana is the stalk (that hard pointy bit sticking out of one end). Do you think the stalk is a zip to be snapped and peeled from the banana? Or do you use it like a handle while getting to work on the stubby end?

How to peel a banana: Stalk is a zip

If you answered yes to the former, we regret to inform you that this is argued to be the wrong way to peel a banana. The technique is critiqued for the difficulty in getting the stalk to snap, and the fact that it’s a recipe for ending up with a sad, squishy banana.

If you want a premium banana eating experience, many argue that the so-called "monkey method" is the way to go.

How to peel a banana: Stalk is a handle

Bananas grow in bunches and the stubby end is actually the “top” of the fruit and the hard stalk is the “bottom”. Therefore, it figures that holding the stalk as a handle is the more logical way to start, and it seems to improve the process overall.

Holding the stalk in one hand, you can then squeeze the top between your fingers which (when ripe) will easily break apart. You can then peel down the edges of the banana without any awkward bending that could damage and soften the fruit.

You’ll also sometimes be presented the remains of the banana's flower in the form of a small, blackish nib which, if you’re not fond of, can be easily removed before you start eating.

how to peel a banana
Starting at the top has been called the "monkey way" for how to peel a banana, but primates, it seems, have many approaches to gorging on the fruit. Image credit: Leo_nik / Shutterstock.com

Bananas might not be a natural part of many primates’ diets, but videos have demonstrated how these animals sometimes seem to intuitively have adopted the “correct” way to peel a banana, using their feet to hold the stalk while their hands pry open the top.

Then again, others just bite the peel and get to work, but this method might not go down so well in the workplace.

All “explainer” articles are confirmed by fact checkers to be correct at time of publishing. Text, images, and links may be edited, removed, or added to at a later date to keep information current.


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