I just got a recipe/etiquette book written by the former butler to Princess Di. It includes tips on how to eat “difficult foods”. I was amazed at how many foods it’s proper to eat with the fingers (have to do a Chronicle on that).

Even more amazing are foods NOT to be eaten with the fingers: apples and bananas. (Oh, go ahead, sing along with me–“I love to eat-eat-eat/eeples and beeneenees….”) Now, if ever a fruit was made to be eaten with the hands, the banana is that fruit. I often quarter and core apples for the grandkids–because it’s easy to eat their leftovers in the form of  slices rather than a half-chawed core–so using a knife on apples seems marginally reasonable. But bananas?

Yet, so it is. One should cut the ends off the banana, slit the skin lengthways and part it, exposing the fruit. Cut the fruit into bite-sized rounds and eat them with a fork.

That’s something I’d pay a dollar to watch. Some time this summer, I’d love to have a party out on the deck and challenge everybody to try it. It’s probably one of those food-related tests of nobility like the Princess and the Pea: If you can eat a banana with a knife and fork, you’re a true aristocrat. Dear Lord, we’d have to hose down the porch, if we tried it. It would look like a Marx Brothers routine. Bananas would be shooting in all directions, landing in laps and down necklines; slices–if there were any–would achieve orbital velocity and be shot down by land-to-air missiles…. Fun for all, but no bananas, unless a bit accidentally hit somebody at another table in the mouth.

I think we’d better stick with the peasant way of banananation and keep things firmly in hand.

MA

writing prompt: Give four characters any piece of fruit and describe the four different ways they eat it.

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