How to Pick Bananas at the Grocery Store

Fresh banana is the perfect healthy grab-and-go snack! But we know it can be disappointing to bring home a bunch of bananas only to find that they’re too hard or unpleasantly overripe.

The texture of an underripe banana or the smell of an overripe banana is enough to turn anyone’s stomach! 

So, how do you pick bananas at the grocery store to avoid this problem?

To pick bananas at the grocery store, we recommend you should check bananas have firm skin that is vibrant yellow. It will also have a small number of black spots on the outside.

Finding out that your bananas aren’t quite as fresh as you want is frustrating but don’t worry; we are here to make sure this never happens to you again. 

In this article, we are going to figure out how to pick the best bananas when you are shopping and how to store them once you get home.

Let’s dive in.

What are Bananas?

To know whether or not a banana is fresh, we first need to talk about what they are precisely.

Bananas are elongated edible fruit from the banana tree. They are technically a berry, even though their appearance doesn’t imply that.[*] This is the best kind of weird fact to bring up at a party just to push someone’s buttons!

This popular fruit originated in Indomalaya and Australia but is now grown in over 135 countries.

The banana flesh is soft, slightly starchy, and very sweet. The skin is thick and stringy and needs to be removed before eating.

There are many species of banana, but the only distinction you will see in a grocery store is between bananas and plantains.

Fun facts:

Bananas are sometimes called dessert bananas because they are sweet, small, and soft. Plantains are larger, firmer, and more starchy. They are best suited for cooking rather than eating them straight from the skin.

Ok, so now we know what bananas are, how should we be buying them?

img of How to Pick Bananas at the Grocery Store?

How to Pick Bananas at the Grocery Store 

To pick fresh bananas at the grocery store, we look for bananas that have firm, bright yellow skin that is scattered with a small number of brown spots. [*]

Coming home with over or underripe fruits, or even fruit that has been damaged, can be so frustrating. Getting a nose full of brown bananas is just full on disgusting so we like to avoid this at all costs!

Luckily, there are a few easy ways to tell if bananas are fresh:

What Color Are They?

Ripe bananas will have a vibrant yellow color with a small black dot smattering, indicating the fruit is sweet.

If you are not eating your bananas immediately, you can choose ones with a bit of green on either end.

Unripe bananas will have green skin, while overripe ones will have dark yellow skin with large brown areas.

Check the Skin

The skin can tell you a lot about the banana inside.

First, you must check for any breakages or bruising, showing the fruit has been damaged.

Secondly, you need to inspect the skin itself. The skin should feel very firm and thick, so you can’t handle the texture of the flesh underneath.  

Old bananas will have thin, dark skin that has lost its vibrant color.

Feel the Texture

You can check the texture by gently feeling the skin of the banana, but be careful not to squeeze too hard, or you will damage the fruit.

The texture should feel firm, with no soft spots present.

Pro tip:

If you have the choice between overripe bananas and underripe ones, you should always choose underripe. You can leave them on your countertop to ripen; you’ll just have to wait a few days before eating them.

Now that you have your bananas at home, you need to know how to store them. Bananas can be tricky, so we have a few tips for you.

Best Way to Store Bananas

Bananas are a fruit that only has to be stored in the fridge if you live in a very hot and humid climate. You can also refrigerate them to slow down ripening.

We like to keep ours in a fruit bowl on the countertop, away from other fruit.

Bananas give off ethylene gas, which can make other fruits ripen too quickly and go bad, so keeping them separate is essential. 

The great thing about bananas is that they can be used in almost every form; want to find out how? Keep reading!

Uses For Bananas

Bananas are a wonderfully versatile fruit that can be used in many ways.

They are great as a quick snack, for breakfast, in a smoothie, or even in baking.

But we want to take another angle and focus on what to do with rotten bananas.

Not all fruit as uses after they’re gone bad, but bananas are special! So if you get home and you have some bad bananas, there are some things you can do.

When your bananas have gone bad with dark skin and soft flesh, the best idea is to pop them in the freezer, skin and all. When thawed and skinned, they are the perfect ingredient to make very flavorful banana bread.

If you are a gardener, we recommend storing the banana skins in water for two weeks to make a rich banana ‘tea’ fertilizer.



After diving into the world of bananas, what have we come away with?

  • Fresh bananas will be firm and have bright yellow skin with a few dark spots.
  • Bananas should be stored in a cool place, out of direct sunlight.
  • Bad bananas can be used for baking.

Now you can go into your next fruit shop armed with the knowledge to pick the perfect bananas!


Up Next: how to pick apples at the grocery stores

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