Americans are a stratifying people. If you follow sports, most likely you are going to have a conversation or read an article at some point about how good a quarterback Tim Tebow is compared to Tom Brady, or how good LeBron James is compared to Michael Jordan, or whether the Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles are more likely to make the playoffs the same way.
With me, though, the comparisons have seeped into everyday life, and I am now prepared to make a statement that you may disagree with, but one that is part of a long realization when it comes to everyday food.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am willing to stand before you and argue that the common banana is not only a top five fruit, but it is indeed the best fruit of all.
Let’s examine the support.
Over the past several months, I’ve examined all possible fruits that are common enough to be purchasable in the United States. Sorry, rambutan, I could not acquire a specimen of you.
There were several contenders. The apple was given strong consideration in all that it has done for this great country. The peach was given special treatment due to its ubiquity in the American South. The orange was likewise given a long look because of the strong juice it makes. And the common grape was pushed by much of my friends and family because of its deliciousness and vital role in making wine.
But in the end, these final contenders were no match for the banana. They were the Justin Guarini to the banana’s Kelly Clarkson, the Miami Heat to the banana’s Dallas Mavericks.
They couldn’t hold up across several categories: ease of use, taste, utility, consistency and cost. Here’s how they stacked up:
Ease of Use: The banana obviously is the winner here, as you don’t need to wash it, it’s easy to eat without getting anything on your hands and its portable shape and protective outer layer allows you to carry it in a wide variety of ways. On the other hand, you need to wash all the other contenders except for the orange, and you can’t easily carry a bunch of grapes or an apple or a pear without them bruising or becoming otherwise weaker. But the orange is notoriously messy and difficult to peel, so it suffers, too.
Taste: Oranges are too sweet, grapes are too bland and apples are very mild. The peach takes this category, as the peach is widely known by fruit connoisseurs such as myself to be the best tasting fruit (don’t try to argue, you know it’s true). The banana is a close second, as it has its own taste that is unlike any other fruit.
Utility: This is the weakest category for the banana, but it still holds out strong. Utility is defined as the ability to convey itself into other forms of treat besides common eating. All the fruits that got to this level had to be strong in this category. Apples hold up with apple pie and apple juice, peaches are obviously strong with peach cobbler, the greatest of all desserts, and grapes make wine, obviously. Oranges make orange juice and orange marmalade, but come on, when have you ever heard of a good orange pie or a good orange cake? Most of the time the baker can’t get the balance right due to its overpowering taste. Bananas are probably fourth-rated, here, but still show stronger than most because of banana pudding and the ability for banana to supplement other types of juices and smoothies.
Consistency: Another clear banana winner. I’ve had bad apples, bad oranges, bad grapes, and bad peaches, but I honestly can’t remember any time I’ve had a banana that was 75 percent or less tasty than a banana should have been. When you get a banana, you know what you get.
Cost: It’s a dead heat between bananas and grapes here, as orange, apple and pear shortages and screwjobs have been known to happen. I don’t care how good an apple is, I’m not paying $1.19 per apple, which happened to me back when I lived in Washington. I bought the apple to see if this was the be-all end-all of apples, but no fruit is worth or should be worth that much money.
There you have it, folks, indisputable proof of the hegemony of bananas. I’ve exhaustively reviewed this article and I tried to convince myself otherwise, but there’s no arguing with facts and scientific study.
The banana has proven itself to be the best fruit. Choose it, the next time you buy fruit. I know I will.