Yes, We Have No Bananas

COVID got me eating way more produce — fruits and vegetables — and cooking a lot more with fresh ingredients — both good things.

I am quite the guacamole chef these days — as evidenced by direct testimony from a native who has been involved with my family (raised my children?) for decades. She said, “Oh, BRC, this is very good guac. You are part Mexican?”

Guacamole is healthy as Hell. I like mine spicy so there are jalapenos, red pepper flakes, and Sirachi plus cumin and cilantro.

I asked her not to spare me her criticism and she says it is “good” which is like winning the bloody Medal of Freedom. Thank you.

But what I really have learned is how damn extraordinary the supply of fruits and vegetables is in America (or is it just Austin By God Texas?).

Here is the banana display at Central Market, 1.2 miles from the domicile of the Big Red Car.


You will note that the Central Market bananas are presented — like an art gallery, really — from least ripe to most ripe — green on the right to more yellow/brown on the left. In this manner when I am instructed to pick up “some” bananas I also get explicit instructions as to their degree of ripeness.

Take a look at your own existence — do you get that kind of banana display? Well do you, punk?

For Bananas Foster one needs ripe bananas, but not mushy. I can make lovely Bananas Foster, but this is not really on the diet scheme currently.

For a continuing journey of smoothies, it is fine to buy green bananas and let them ripen as they are used. Such technical details determine the quality of one’s smoothie game.

Austin is blessed with at least two big time produce grocery stores: Central Market and Whole Foods. They are a 5 minute drive from each other and both have bountiful parking.

Bottom line it, Big Red Car, bananas for goodness sake?

I think Central Market is better than Whole Foods. OK, heresy, I know, but I said it. Right out there for the whole world to hear.

CM is a subsidiary of HEB (Henry E Butt grocery chain from San Antonio) whilst WF was founded in Austin before it exploded out to conquer the world.

The selection of apples, pears (who doesn’t love a rock hard sliced pear with tangy blue cheese at bedtime?), onions, corn (yellow and white are both in season right now), berries, peppers, spices, — I could go on — is superb.

Now, don’t take affront, Whole Foods, I know you were born in Austin By God Texas. It is a very small difference and I will continue to shop at WF when I need brioche burger buns, but I am a Central Market guy now.

Whole Foods is a strong competitor, and, yes, I am saying this is the #2 place offering. Hard decision. They make a lovely presentation.


And, yes, it feels like I am cheating on you when I caress and squeeze the avocados to test their ripeness at Central Market, when I strip the corn, but I am sorry. I only have one life to live and I refuse to live it without fresh cilantro.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just an overly ripe banana car.