This art of ripening took time to perfect. And there were some accidents along the way. Ethylene is combustible, and in 1936, the Pittsburgh Banana Company building exploded, causing it to rain bananas in the city’s Strip District.
Today ripening can be slowed or sped up by tapping a touch-screen. “If sales are up, we increase the temperature,” Mr. Serafino said. “If sales are down, we decrease the temperature.” The range was three degrees up or down, he said.
“You don’t want to stress the bananas.”
-Annie Correal ‘The Secret Life of the City Banana‘ The New York Times