Produce Puzzler

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I’m stealing this idea from a local produce market.  They do a great job promoting their foods on Facebook and Twitter.  Each week they ask a question they call the Produce Puzzler and offer food prizes for the person answering correctly.

The question last week was: “What fruit is consumed more than any other fruit in the world?”
Now I’m sure I could have cheated and searched the web for the answer.  However, I felt fairly sure about the first idea that popped into my mind.  So I responded: banana.

Other people were saying apples, tomatoes and mangos.  There were lots of people that said mango. I wondered to myself, have these folks ever priced a mango? 

I was wrong. The market claimed that mango was the correct answer. (Could all those people be that much smarter than me or did they “Google” the answer?)

Their source was James Scherrer @ Banderasnews.com (a newsletter out of Puerto Vallarta). He claims that worldwide mangos are consumed 3 to 1 over bananas and 10 to 1 over apples.

I didn’t believe that.  So I kept looking.

Wiki.answers.com questions that answer, too.  They say it’s the tomato.  While it is technically a fruit, most of us consider the tomato a vegetable and while lots are consumed worldwide, most are consumed in a cooked product.

Anwser.com agrees with me about the banana.  They state that there are 95 million tons of bananas produced per year.  In terms of price, availability, ease in eating and what people like, you can’t beat a banana.

They also say that “mangoes are the world’s most popular fruit” because many of mangoes are grown in home gardens, not produced commercially or imported to America. 

Ask.com agrees that it’s the mango, stating that they are “the most eaten fruit worldwide, being staples in diets in India, South Asia, China and Latin America, while we in America still consider them an “exotic” fruit” (thus the price.)

I’m assuming that mangoes must be much cheaper and more readily available in other parts of the world.  I remember once while traveling in the Bahamas, I was delighted with the two (yes, two) mangoes in the packed lunch prepared for me by the hotel. I commented about that being such a treat, telling the staff that these fruit usually cost over $1 each in our stores.  They just laughed at me saying they grew all over the island.

If you look at this question just a little differently, what is the most popular fruit in the United States, mangoes don’t even make the top 10. Apples top that list. Bananas are up there, too.

 I’m really not sure of the statistics or the correct answer for the question of the “most consumed” fruit in the world. This could be a fun tip for parents – what is the most popular fruit at your house?  Buy a bunch, take a poll and have fun. The best part is everyone wins with increased fruit consumption.

It could also be good for work-site wellness programs – take a poll on favorite fruits and post the answers. Maybe different departments have different favorites.

Here’s a great recipe from Chef Judy for a Vanilla Custard Sauce that turns these favorite fruits into a fancy dessert.  Hint:  it’s great with mangoes and bananas. http://www.foodandhealth.com/recipes.php?id=1133

You can also serve mangoes and other fresh fruits in a tall glass with chopped mint for an elegant dessert.

Well,  I’m not going to complain to the market, dispute their facts or try to claim the prize.  But, just wait till next week’s question.

Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS

Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University

Your bananas, my bananas…Yonanas!

Banana Date Yonananas

Banana Date Yonananas

We’ve had a lot of fun with Yonanas! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Yonanas is a small kitchen appliance that takes frozen bananas and other fruit and quickly processes them into a creamy frozen dessert-type product that looks like it came out of the machine of your favorite frozen yogurt place.

We had friends over for dinner one evening and we pulled out the Yonanas machine to make dessert. The friend admitted that she thought to herself “there’s a sucker born every day, what is this thing?” But after eating the Yonanas she wanted one for herself.

The joy of Yonanas is you’re eating pure fruit. Although the name implies bananas , you can use any fruit or combination of fruit. It is recommended to use a banana every time because it helps make the creamy consistency— I personally  like the combination of bananas, mango and strawberries. The combinations are endless and it comes with a recipe book.

Just think of all the calories and fat calories you can save by eating Yonana instead of ice cream? Two bananas, 1/2 cup strawberries and a half of a mango makes more than enough Yonana for three people for only 112 calories each. Yonanas satisfies the craving for ice cream without the added cream, sugar or preservatives. It’s a fun way to encourage kids to eat more fruit. Plus bananas are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, manganese and vitamins B6 & C.

A couple tips: the fruit needs to slightly thaw (5-8 minutes) before putting through the Yonana machine to get a creamy texture. It doesn’t take long. If it thaws out too much, your final product will be mushy. The machine also comes with popsicle forms to refreeze any leftover product. I haven’t been real successful with this; you may need to experiment a little.

Another plus…it’s a great money saver. Fruit that would otherwise get tossed is now saved for the Yonana! Simply freeze those very ripe bananas or buy the “mark down” bananas for Yonanas. No more wasted fruit or feeling the need to make even more banana muffins or nut bread. Plus kids can come up with their own flavor concoctions or toppings. It would take an older child or adult to push the fruit through because some exertion is needed.

A word of caution: as with any small appliance, it’s only good if you’ll use it. It’s easy to clean. I put it in the dishwasher.

Check out their website at www.yonanas.com (note: you can get a refurbished machine for 20% off with Amazon’s Warehouse Deal).

Banana Yonananas "Ice Cream" Tropical

Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS
Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University

Check out the savings:

Food: Calories per half cup: Fat (g) Calories per week for a year:
Yonanas 112  0  5,824
Ice cream 250 16 13,000
Savings  82 16  7,176