HOWTO disassemble a banana

iFixIt's awesome teardown site (which contains instructions for skinning and gutting many devices) has this fascinating HOWTO for disassembling a banana:

Step 4
* Insert your thumbs into the split of the peel and pull the two sides apart.
* Expose the top of the banana. It may be slightly squished from pulling on the stem, but this will not affect the flavor.

Step 5
* Pull open the peel, starting from your original split, and opening it along the length of the banana.

Banana Teardown (via Lessig)



  1. Primates open bananas from the opposite end of the stem. It’s much easier. I’m with the chimps.

  2. NO! NO! NO! The stem is the handle! peel from the other end!

    Gal-derned backwards banana peelin’ folks!

  3. Damn, I just ate my banana. Why couldn’t you post this a half hour ago? Now I’m going to have to wait another day to try this.

  4. if you peel it from the “butt” end (i.e. not the part with the stem) you will get no stringy fibers on the sides of the banana.

  5. They’re doing it wrong? I seem to remember a boingboing post of yore championing the opposite end opening, “stem out” approach to banana disassembly (supposedly used by apes in the wild and surprisingly efficient). Changed my life…but perhaps I’ve been living a lie, all this time.

  6. Reminds me of when I worked at Starbucks recently. That’s how we were taught to peel the bananas.

  7. I always just fly up and drop them onto rocks from altitude until they split open. Caw! Caw!

  8. Wrong ! Take the stem and snap it away from you, it will stay attached to a portion of the peel, thus providing a nice handle to start to peel the banana.

  9. 5 steps!? And it gets mushy? It’s a banana, not a plantain. Try this:

    1) Pinch NON-stem end (like you’re crushing a louse)
    2) Peel
    3) Delight

  10. No, no, no. First score a line just below the stem with your fingernail, THEN span it away from you as a peeling handle. The score will prevent snap-bruising. Nobody wants banana-paste as their first bite!

  11. Title:
    Green banana/plantain peeler
    United States Patent 5497552

    A device for peeling a green banana and plantain comprising a handle to be grasped by a first hand of a person. A curved peeling tip extends outwardly from an end of the handle to fit under a skin of the green banana and plantain, in which both ends are cut off and the skin has a plurality of lengthwise slits. A curved shield extends at a rearward angle up from a top surface of the curved peeling, so as to protect a nail of a thumb of the first hand grasping the handle when pushing forward to peel the skin off of the green banana and plantain held in a second hand of the person.

  12. Peeling oranges is equally frought with controversy.

    (Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?)

  13. I find the most dramatic method is to hold the banana in both hands, with the curve facing upwards, and quickly snap it in half.

    Some men seem to find this gesture disturbing, but it makes a remarkably clean break of both peel and fruit. Then you can peel it easily from the middle, and you can share it with a friend or save half for later.

  14. I’m with the chimps too…peel from the bottom you heathens! If you eat it from the bottom as well, you’ll notice it gets sweeter towards the top (you don’t notice this when you eat it from the top).

  15. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, any civilization that has so far lost it’s head as to need to create a set of detailed instructions for use in eating a banana, is no longer a civilization in which I can live and stay sane.

  16. when i have to peel a whole lot of bananas quickly, i give ’em a two-handed twist (like wringing a towel) and the peel splits stem to stern in one go. just invert the peel, and the whole nanner falls out, no strings, no mush. takes maybe three seconds.

  17. I started peeling mine the chimp way after the BB article a while back, and it works much better.

  18. Anonymous @ 22: You’re welcome!

    I found a video with even better instructions:
    How To Peel A Banana by Tirso Sigg
    FTV: “How did we figure this out? By watching monkeys eat bananas.”

    I have to go buy a banana or two and try his small modification.

    Firmly in the “Open at the other end” camp.

  19. So glad I am not alone on the ‘which end is the right end’ discussion .. I do prefer opening at the non stem end … a) holding the opened banana reminds me of a flower and b) I have gotten rid of that crummy part at the tip and c) wiggling the stem creates a mushy part and you might end up never opening it ..

    I find this way just estecially more appealing … ha .. bananas

  20. I could never be bothered to learn the entire procedure, which is why I always keep a monkey on hand for such an occasion.

  21. Bite gently on the antipodes, then peel back. It was right here on Boing Boing some time ago. You get to eat whatever the weird little black part is that way. I had a friend curse me out because of the little black thingie and he went back to wringing the neck of the banana and still gets mushed tips. I eat the black thing.

  22. @ PMHPARIS

    Actually, there is a lot to learn, form yoga mostly, about how to breathe and with great benefits.

    I believe that there are whole peoples who peel their bananas black end first. I leaned it from an Algerian friend who seemed surprised that there may be another way.

    The black part inside should come off easily and there is no real need for biting if one has a bit of fingernails left over.

  23. This method fails in an important way. There are too many other methods for opening it without squishing the banana for this to be optimal. And intentionally squishing any part of it before opening isn’t tricky, so it doesn’t merit special instructions or special steps.

    Here’s something worth writing a set of instructions for:
    1. Insert a needle in a discreet spot on the banana, preferably a spot that is already blemished.
    2. Wiggle the needle back and forth inside the skin so it slices through a section of the banana without cutting through the rest of the skin. If you do this too deeply into the surrounding skin, it will show lines around the skin from the outside.
    3. Repeat in several spots of the banana at the end where you expect another person to open it first.
    4. The holes where you inserted the needle will become more visible after ten or twenty minutes, so try to do this out of sight and just before you serve it to a person. Hand it to them with the holes away from them so they won’t notice.
    5. If all goes well, your victim sees an untainted banana, peels it and sees it fall apart into precisely cut sections in front of them.

  24. Can anyone tell me what the name is of the little black thing at the end of the banana (inside the peel, at the end opposite the stem)?

  25. I tried the chimp method, but it has the following drawbacks compared to the traditional method:

    1. The banana is not firmly attached at the stem end and is much more likely to fall out if you peel past the median point at any time.

    2. The black mushy thing at the end has to be disposed of before you start eating the banana, instead of leaving it with the skin.

    These are of course not problems if you’re a monkey, since a monkey finds a dropped banana still perfectly edible and there is no reason for a monkey not to eat the mushy bit or simply drop it on the ground.

    In addition, I have yet to have any difficulty peeling it from the stem end. Perhaps I merely have superior fingernails, but one clean slice inside the base of the stem, followed by a sharp bend against the curve of the banana, and the peel snaps free.

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