After a bit of inquiry, we discovered that one of our guards had helpfully put the bananas in a cardboard box, tied it closed with copper wire, and put it in one of the back storage rooms on the property.
When he heard we were looking for them, he brought the box up to the house, explaining that you should always put bananas in a cardboard box to ripen quicker. “Right,” we said, nodding our heads. Inwardly, I likened it to an old Tanzanian-wives-tale, like the one where I'm not supposed to drink cold water on hot days because it makes me cough. I'm sure it had nothing to do with allergies!?
|All I could think of when I saw the copper wire was how people steal |
copper off irrigation systems in the States to sell it for money!
If they only knew how many boxes of bananas were sitting wrapped
with copper wire in Tanzanian backyards...
|I'm assuming the newspaper is also critical to the ripening process?|
A couple of weeks later we started smelling a mysterious banana-like smell from the entryway where we had left the box. We checked inside, and whala! The bananas were ready! Turns out that bananas really do let off a ripening agent-something-or-other-that-does-something-so-they-ripen-and-apparently-you-can-put-other-fruit-in-the-box-to-ripen-too-and-I-should-look-up-why-this-is-but-will-refer-you-to-knowledgeable-chemist-friends-instead-because,-well,-I’m-too-busy-cooking-with-bananas.