Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Going bananas

The smell of bananas was detected by my sensitive olfactory nerves. Hmm.. it smelled as if it came from Jeiel's room which was almost two rooms away from mine. That delicious smell was so inviting that I couldn't resist the urge to knock on his door, and probably have a taste of it myself.

"Oh, Lance, pasok ka," Jeiel told me, as he opened the door. He bid me to come inside.

"Hmm.. wow, Jeiel, mukhang masarap 'yan ah," I said.

"Sige, Lance, kuha ka lang." He offered me the bundle of bananas, and I picked one. The taste was ambrosiac: I, under normal circumstances, do not really like bananas; but the taste has become foreign to my tastebuds that I wanted to refresh my memory of it. It was delicious.

"Ang sarap. Thanks. Pero why is it so small? How much does that cost? Don't you like big bananas, the ones they export?," I inquired. He kindly answered these questions, and offered concrete evidences that supported his claims.

Jeiel said that he prefers to eat the smaller varieties of bananas. He says, "Mas masarap." Why didn't I notice the difference before he said that? Perhaps I wasn't paying attention to my tastes.

He offered me tips in choosing which bananas to buy and not to buy:

Buy small bananas. They have thinner skin (or covering. I do not know the exact scientific terms). They're usually sweeter, and therefore more delicious. Corollary to this statement, do not buy big bananas. They have thicker skin, and some do not taste as good as the smaller ones.In buying, do not buy a whole bundle (again, since I am ignorant of the terms, allow me to use what's in my vocabulary) since the tindera would base the prize on the mass of such bundle. Such mass (taking into consideration the Law of Conservation of Mass) would include the edible part of the fruit and the skin. Therefore, the thicker skin, the heavier. In fact, Jeiel told me that it's better to buy small bananas, since the mass of the skin would be negligible. But what's better, according to him, is to buy, "papiso-piso" or "pa-isa-isa." (N.B.: I could no translate the aforementioned terms in English; too bad my brother isn't here with me to translate.)Buy clean-looking bananas. Cleanliness, after all, is next to godliness.Last semester, in my Bio 1 class, we discussed things about the bananas. Dr. Emile Frison, who heads the INIBAP (International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Planatain) in Montpellier, France, made a shocking revelation: that ten to forty years from now, bananas will be extinct if they are not protected from fungal diseases and many other detrimental factors. Jeiel ought to join that research group. He eats banana all the time."It makes me healthy and strong," he said.

I tried to convince Jeiel to give me his photo so that I can include it in this write-up. He declined.


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