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2006年NPR美国国家公共电台四月-Easter Can Be a Tough Time for Bananas

时间:2007-07-20 05:49来源:互联网 提供网友:zhao6221133   字体: [ ]
Michele Norris: With Passover and Easter upon us, it's that time of year when you think of matzos and chocolate bunnies. But in Central America, they are thinking about bananas. At banana plantations2, it's a tough time of the year. It's Semana Santa or Holy Week, and plantation1 workers take time off to celebrate. The problem is they either anticipate the week off and pick the bananas early, in which case the fruit is too green, or they wait and pluck the fruit when they return, too late and too yellow. In reading the Miami Herald3 this morning, we learned that there is a science to ripening5 bananas. And now we are gonna talk to one of the masters. His name is Pat Foster, and his official title is Director of Ripening for Chiquita Brands International, the paper actually referred to him as the banana gasman. We'll explain that in just a minute. But first, Mr. Foster, thanks so much for being with us.

Pat Foster: Oh, thank you very much for having me.

Michele Norris: So, you are the person who actually determines if the bananas that you see at the local grocery store are a nice, ripe shade of yellow or some various shade of green? How do you actually do that?

Pat Foster: Well, I have a staff of ripeners throughout the country actually that I oversee6. And we use a specific recipe to obtain the color.

Michele Norris: A recipe?

Pat Foster: That's, that's the best way to describe it.

Michele Norris: So, how, what, you, you expose the bananas to some sort of gas. (Yes). I guess that's where your name comes in.

Pat Foster: Yes, actually it's a natural product. You know, when you hear the word 'gas', everybody gets very nervous. But actually it's, it's alcohol, that's atomized and turned into ethylene. And ethylene is a, is a product that is produced by the fruit naturally when it's in its ripening state. So, basically, what we are doing is, ur, giving this full room of fruit the message "Hey, it's the time to start ripening" by exposing it to ethylene.

Michele Norris: So you talked about that recipe. I guess the ingredients there are time, temperature, and the length of exposure. How, how do you get that just right?

Pat Foster: Well, it's basically something that the ripener has to learn from experience, it's not something that you do by the numbers. You receive the product, you do an inspection7 of the product, you cut it open, you smell it, you look at the peel-to-pulp separation and you determine the freshness of the fruit. And then you develop a procedure to ripen4 that product, so that it will be acceptable to the consumer.

Michele Norris: So since you are the man whose finger rides that dial and determines how much gas you actually use in the ripening process. What's the right shade, what color should they be when they leave your warehouse8?

Pat Foster: We like to see fruit at retail9, that is, on the shelf, a nice good amount, more yellow than green, and just with green tips or green necks on the fruit.

Michele Norris: So, would that be sort of a canary yellow, the color of sort of a yellow post it pad?

Pat Foster: Canary yellow would be a good description.

Michele Norris: And how do you deal with this Semana Santa, this Holy Week slowdown in Latin America?

Pat Foster: Well, we, we try to bring in as much product as we can prior to the holidays, and then right after the holidays, we'll have more product arriving.

Michele Norris: But if it comes in too early, it might be too green, if it comes in too late...

Pat Foster: Well, that's where the skill of ripener comes in, he has to know how to process the fruit to compensate10 for that.

Michele Norris: So, you, you are an expert in this. If you bring home bananas, and they are a little, little bit too green for your liking11, what's the best way to get them to just the right color once they actually are in your kitchen, home from the grocery store?

Pat Foster: What I usually do if they are a little too green, I will put them into a brown paper bag, not a plastic bag. And if there is an apple, a nice, ripe apple around, I'll put that in the bag with it. And then the ethylene that's being produced from the apple will help to trigger the fruit to continue its ripening process.

Michele Norris: Well, Mr. Foster, thanks so much.

Pat Foster: Thank you very much.

Michele Norris: That's Pat Foster, Director of North America Ripening for Chiquita Brands International.

Passover: a Jewish religious holiday when people remember the escape of the Jews from Egypt;逾越节, 逾越节祭神的羔羊
matzo: a large thin piece of flat bread, eaten by Jewish people during Passover;犹太逾越节薄饼
ripener: 催熟剂
canary yellow: 淡黄色


1 plantation oOWxz     
  • His father-in-law is a plantation manager.他岳父是个种植园经营者。
  • The plantation owner has possessed himself of a vast piece of land.这个种植园主把大片土地占为己有。
2 plantations ee6ea2c72cc24bed200cd75cf6fbf861     
n.种植园,大农场( plantation的名词复数 )
  • Soon great plantations, supported by slave labor, made some families very wealthy. 不久之后出现了依靠奴隶劳动的大庄园,使一些家庭成了富豪。 来自英汉非文学 - 政府文件
  • Winterborne's contract was completed, and the plantations were deserted. 维恩特波恩的合同完成后,那片林地变得荒废了。 来自辞典例句
3 herald qdCzd     
  • In England, the cuckoo is the herald of spring.在英国杜鹃鸟是报春的使者。
  • Dawn is the herald of day.曙光是白昼的先驱。
4 ripen ph3yq     
  • I'm waiting for the apples to ripen.我正在等待苹果成熟。
  • You can ripen the tomatoes on a sunny windowsill.把西红柿放在有阳光的窗台上可以让它们成熟。
5 ripening 5dd8bc8ecf0afaf8c375591e7d121c56     
v.成熟,使熟( ripen的现在分词 );熟化;熟成
  • The corn is blossoming [ripening]. 玉米正在开花[成熟]。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • When the summer crop is ripening, the autumn crop has to be sowed. 夏季作物成熟时,就得播种秋季作物。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 oversee zKMxr     
  • Soldiers oversee the food handouts.士兵们看管着救济食品。
  • Use a surveyor or architect to oversee and inspect the different stages of the work.请一位房产检视员或建筑师来监督并检查不同阶段的工作。
7 inspection y6TxG     
  • On random inspection the meat was found to be bad.经抽查,发现肉变质了。
  • The soldiers lined up for their daily inspection by their officers.士兵们列队接受军官的日常检阅。
8 warehouse 6h7wZ     
  • We freighted the goods to the warehouse by truck.我们用卡车把货物运到仓库。
  • The manager wants to clear off the old stocks in the warehouse.经理想把仓库里积压的存货处理掉。
9 retail VWoxC     
  • In this shop they retail tobacco and sweets.这家铺子零售香烟和糖果。
  • These shoes retail at 10 yuan a pair.这些鞋子零卖10元一双。
10 compensate AXky7     
vt.补偿,赔偿;酬报 vi.弥补;补偿;抵消
  • She used her good looks to compensate her lack of intelligence. 她利用她漂亮的外表来弥补智力的不足。
  • Nothing can compensate for the loss of one's health. 一个人失去了键康是不可弥补的。
11 liking mpXzQ5     
  • The word palate also means taste or liking.Palate这个词也有“口味”或“嗜好”的意思。
  • I must admit I have no liking for exaggeration.我必须承认我不喜欢夸大其词。
TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  easter  bananas
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