Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Señor Topocho



In Venezuela we were introduced to various types of bananas. From the cooking plantains to several varieties of eating bananas, the small 'manzano' to the 'topocho'.

We were delighted to discover a topocho banana plant in our yard. We found this banana which is short and a bit rounder than the more common ones, to be sweet and delicious. When the banana plant gave its fruit, a nice large bunch of bananas, we enjoyed them greatly and determined to keep the topocho plant alive so that we might enjoy its fruit yet again. ( Los que saben, ya están reindo!)

Unfortunately, the plant began to ...droop! We noticed it seemed to be wilting and drying out. So my husband decided to try to save the plant. He found some rope and tied the plants stalk up to a pipe. But it continued to droop, now in another direction. We were very concerned because we really wanted to save the plant so conveniently located in our own yard!

So Yekwnaman added another rope to pull the stalk in the opposite direction. This continued for a week or so. Each day we would notice the banana plant drooping in a new direction, so we would add a rope trying to support the plant. It seemed as if a drunken spider had spun a web in our yard, with ropes strung in every direction!

Finally, we asked for help. A friend who worked in gardens came by to see what was ailing our poor topocho banana plant. He stopped, looked at the plant being held up by rope, glanced at us with a bewildered look upon his face, and laughed !!! He laughed, and laughed and laughed!

He finally said,"Your topocho is dead!"

We sadly asked, "You mean, it can't be saved? We really wanted more topochos to eat!"

"No", he said "Once a banana plant gives fruit, it dies! You can't save it!"

"But... we liked the topochos! We want more!"

And then he proceeded to explain the mystery of the banana plant. Each plant gives fruit and then dies. BUT... not to worry! The plant has off shoots (hijoitos) which had already sprung up around the base of the dying stalk. These would provide a continuous supply of topochos for our eating pleasure.

oh...we didn't know ...

And from that day forth, my husband had the nickname of 'Topocho' in Venezuela! Even when called on the ham radio, people would ask to speak to ' Señor Topocho' much to his chagrin.


22 comments:

Pinky said...

Hey, you gotta learn somehow!

I got the nickname 'Train' after I nearly hit an oncoming train with a discus in high school. :0P

Anonymous said...

sorry this has nothing to do with banana's but i just found out that jackie's blog is private now, and i dont have a blog or know what i need to do to see her blog now, can you help, by telling me what i need to do??? I love her blog and found her words so encouraging.
Thanks alot Chris

Cheesecakeluvrs4life said...

Hey I tried to get to Jackie's blog...but it said it was private...do you think you could ask her if I could still see it=)! I love checking in on both of your blogs!!Thanks!!

Ya'll are some of my only blogging friends that update consistently!!=)Keep up the great work!!=)

Brenda said...

We have had banana plants, they are fun for the kids.

Findalis said...

In a way the plant never dies, the new shoots are still the same plant, just a clone of the original. G-d's miracles of life are amazing in that.

Caraqueña said...

Hey, I can't see Jackie's blog (one of my VERY FAVORITEST) because now it says only INVITED readers! Could you please ask her to invite me? Thanks!

Dawn said...

It was fun to learn this about bananas - are they all that way?

Jungle Mom said...

LOL! Most of my comments here are about Jackie's blog. She had to go private due to some unkind comments.

Jackie said...

Those interested in seeing my blog please email me at jackiesblog[at]yahoo.com. We'll see what we can do. ;-)

The Frank Family said...

What a great story! It's amazing how good fruit is in other countries where they haven't been "engineered." I have spent two months in Honduras and found the most wonderful mangos and have spent two months in Nigeria, West Africa and had the very sweetest bananas, oranges, and pineapples.

Pilot-Pooja said...

The topocho plant looks quite interesting..especially the pic in the end...

I had a nick name "automatic machine", for my frds cld not figure out when i was crying or laughing..

The banana leaf holds some religious significance in India!

Thursday's Child said...

How do we get an invitation? I love reading her blog.

Thursday's Child said...

BTW, I probably would have done the same thing with the banana plant. Either that or just ignored it, chalking it up as just another casualty of my black thumb.

A Note From Theresa said...

I have given you a blog award. Please come over and see.

Thriver said...

Haha Topocho! I wish I could do something stupid and get a nickname. Wah...

Liz said...

First of all, I'm glad to find a way to communicate with Jackie. Boy, I thought I was excluded for all of my silly comments!
;P

Rita, being a city girl, I didn't know about the Topocho. Hey, I just buy and eat 'em!!!

My favorite are the 'manzano' kind, though. The hubby loves the 'titiaro' ones.

Gayle said...

When we were in Florida we had several Lady Finger Banana trees in our yard and when they died we thought we had lost them too, but they surprisingly came back the next year, and every year thereafter. It was a wonderful surprise. We didn't tie them up with ropes though. I guess we weren't as determined to keep them alive that first year as you were. LOL!

Charles said...

We had similar bananas on Guam. Very sweet. I never saw them again after a strong Typhoon however. I wish you could buy them here.

Yummy

MightyMom said...

now, that's a funny story!!


Thursday is coming.

Sarah Joy said...

How very funny! Mexicans love giving nicknames too-you have to be careful or you will get a strange one, and it will stick!

Sounds like something I would do too-stubbornly trying to keep it alive. That is just too funny.

I'm so glad Jackie gave us an opportunity to contact her. Sad those scummies found her blog!

Sarah Halter said...

Estaba sonriendo! Yo sabo porque he vivido en Kenya. Claro prefiero platanos de lugares tropicales. Agui no hay platanos con buen sabor. Los mejores son esos platanos pequenos. Whew, I had to pull out the dictionary for that one. It seems my spanish has gotten a little lost under my swahili. Anyway, thanks for a good laugh!

Sarah Halter said...

Hace muchos anos que no estudio o hablo espanol. Esta manana, cuando estaba pensando en espanol, recordi que escribi ayer yo sabo en vez de yo se! Ahorra, es tu oportunidad reir!