How to Make your Banana More Juicy!
By Paul Singer - MD, London Fine Dining Group
As restaurateurs, we are always looking for ways to deliver a better dining experience to our customers.
Although most of us fall some way short of installing iPods in sea-shells so customers can listen to the sea whilst they eat seafood, I suspect that some of us might be prepared to try out the latest idea sweeping Japan - playing music to fruit.
And although you might be carted off to the nearest funny farm instead of the fruit farm, for being nutty as a fruit cake (ok - 'nuf fruit jokes now, Ed), it's not the first time it has been tried. An Italian vineyard owner is rumoured to have been playing Italian Opera to his grapes for years claiming that it makes them sweeter and juicier. But now, the time has come for the humble banana to enter the musical arena. I am making no obvious jokes about Bananarama who were probably 20 years ahead of their time (although, alas, not in the flared trouser and hair-style department).
Yes, apparently, if you play Mozart to a banana, you get a juicier, sweeter banana, and presumably one who appreciates the finer things in life. I am now trying to visualise how this Mozart concert would be staged. Do the bananas stay on the trees whilst a van with a huge pair of speakers on top (for surely the music must be broadcast in Digital Stereo) drives around the base of the trees with music blaring out at full volume? Or are the bananas cut down in their sour and non-juicy condition only to be sweetened up and made more juicy by being exposed to Mozart's Serenade No. 1 in D major as they lay in the sun? We need to know more.
I have also begun to wonder whether this novel technique might also work on humans. Perhaps if we were to play the appropriate type of music in our restaurants, not only would the food taste better but the staff might be sweeter and juicier too. Where will it end? Will supermarket shelves have to display normal bananas, free-trade bananas, organic bananas and musically enhanced bananas in different sections? And will there still be enough shelf space left for other musically enhanced fruit and vegetables?
The last time I heard the word "juicy" and "fruit" in the same sentence was last weekend when my wife and I were travelling (or, more accurately, "parked" in a 30 mile queue) on the M40 between Birmingham and Oxford. Whilst the BBC broadcasted helpful news bulletins about not leaving home unless absolutely necessary and only then when in possession of blankets, shovels, torches, food, water and sleeping bags, my wife had fortunately taken the very sensible precaution of bringing none of the aforementioned life-saving items but had instead taken the precaution of bringing an extra juicy-fruit flavoured lip-gloss, just in case.
I am not sure when Scott set out for the Antarctic whether lip-gloss was on his list of essentials (or whether the other men would have preferred raspberry to juicy-fruit flavour for their bedtime kiss) but I am pretty sure he made it there and back without any lip shimmer although he did have a tinge of blue when he returned, attributed to frost bite at the time (although it could have been juicy-blueberry for all we know).