Mr. Food: Best Food Buy: Banana

Some of the Best Food Buys at the market are right under our noses all year 'round, and if we take 'em for granted, we're not only passing up a good buy at the produce counter, we're missing out on a lot of tasty options, like, let's take a closer look at bananas.

Bananas are a big popular fruit worldwide, and certainly the number one fruit in this country. They grow in loads of sizes, shapes and varieties, all in warm tropical locations, so they're always in season and reasonably priced. That's the big savings for us.

The type we're most familiar with is the creamy smooth bright yellow variety. We can tell when they're at their height of sweetness when they start to get little brown spots that are known in the produce industry as sugar spots, but we may notice some of the exotic varieties at the market too, like these red bananas!

They taste sweet with just a hint of, like a berry tartness, and we know they're ripe when they turn dark red to purple, almost black, and then there are the sweet little baby bananas.

They naturally get their name from their size, the kids love 'em, and they're a nice conversation piece too! And lastly we've got the thick-skinned plantains, so popular in Hispanic cooking as a side dish, 'cause if we cook 'em while still green, they have a starchy taste with no banana flavor, a lot like a potato. If cooked ripe, they're syrupy-sweet with almost a smooth melty texture to 'em.

What's so interesting is that bananas are the only fruit that ripens after it's picked. No monkeying around, bananas sure deliver a whole bunch of "OOH IT'S SO GOOD!!®"