Easier, tastier and less messy methods that will change how you consume everything from sushi to apples.
By Lynn Andriani
It seems obvious to open a banana by the stem, but the fact is, doing so often results in a sort of thumb-wrestle with the fruit and a stem that may or may not break off easily. If you turn the banana around, though, and give a gentle squeeze to the other end, the peel should split right open. Proceed as usual and be thankful to monkeys for teaching us this genius maneuver.
Entire books have been written on the etiquette involved in eating a Japanese meal. Manners aside, though, there are other reasons to play by the rules when you're enjoying sushi that can affect how the food tastes. Here's one: If you're dipping your nigiri sushi (that's the type where a strip of fish sits atop a finger-shaped mound of rice) into a dish of soy sauce, turn it upside down first, so that the tuna, salmon, etc. -- not the rice -- comes in contact with the sauce. That'll prevent the grains from getting wet and separating, so it'll be easier to eat. Plus, you'll be seasoning the fish, which makes more sense, since sushi rice is already flavored with rice vinegar.
Juicy pomegranate seeds are wonderful in salads, salsa and even margaritas. There's just one problem, though: Getting the jewel-like pods (aka arils) out can be a messy operation, since cutting directly into the fruit makes it explode. Here's a foolproof method we learned from the folks at POM Wonderful: You submerge the pomegranate in a bowl of water and pull it apart along lines you scored with a paring knife. The arils sink to the bottom of the bowl, while the membranes and peels float to the top.
Pistachios (Particularly Stubborn Ones)
Not only are pistachio shells a natural alarm to prevent overeating (research shows that the empty shells act as "visual cues" to remind people how many nuts they've already eaten) -- but they're also a handy tool for getting tough nuts open. The next time you're stuck with a pistachio whose shell has a miniscule opening that just won't budge, slide half of another shell -- instead of your fingernail -- in there and twist. The stubborn shell should pop right open. (Another food whose shells do double duty: Mussels. Use an empty shell as if it's a set of tongs to pluck the mussels out of other shells; it works better than a fork and makes you look like a pro.)
And now for some earth-shattering news: Apple cores are edible. In fact, they're so innocuous, The Atlantic says they don't even exist. This video from Food Beast, which shows a revolutionary way to eat an apple (from the bottom up!), blew our minds. Yes, there is a thin, fibrous cylinder that runs through the middle of the fruit, but it doesn't taste bad; and, if you eat an apple vertically, you won't even notice it. You can swallow the seeds, say some scientists, or just spit them out.