A beloved fruit of choice by many, a banana is a preferred healthy snack for its natural sweetness, slight tang, and versatility in many local dishes. Fried, steamed, boiled, cooked with pork and leafy greens–bananas can really do it all. There are countless varieties of bananas to choose from and in the Philippines, we pride ourselves on having many delicious varieties growing in our own backyard. But there are some banana varieties that may look unfamiliar to us, especially since we have a few favorites that keep recurring in our dishes.
Within the realm of the king of fruits, there exist different varieties of bananas that you may not even hear of. We love Saba and Lady Finger is a classic, but have you ever heard of Java bananas? How about Bluggoes? Have you ever tasted a Rhino Horn banana? In this article, we will dive into the strange and wonderful world of unusual bananas, large and small, blue and pink! Get ready to discover the fascinating diversity of the king of fruits.
Let’s Go Bananas!
There's more to bananas than being just long and yellow. In fact, some of them are neither of those things! Below are 6 different bananas that you might not know of.
As the name suggests, a Blue Java banana is indeed a banana in the shade of blue. A hybrid of two banana species namely Musa balbisiana and Musa acuminata, a Blue Java banana is native to Southeast Asia but is cold hardy, and can survive in low temperatures.
Image from fast-growing-trees.com
Blue Java bananas are known to be aromatic with a swell hint of vanilla flavor. The best part? Blue Java bananas reportedly have an ice cream consistency to complement their vanilla flavor.
When you think of bananas, it’s not often that the adjectives “adorable” and “tiny” pop up in your mind. Nor will the word “apple” pop up next. But with Manzano bananas, those three words perfectly describe the fruit.
Image from Google
Short, bright yellow, and stubby are Manzano bananas. It has firm skin that is thicker than a cavendish (the most common banana variety) and it is native to North and South America. Just like what was mentioned, Manzano bananas are known to taste like apples with a hint of strawberry when ripe.
A sub-variety of the cavendish banana, the giant cavendish banana, is also known as Giant Chinese or Robusta. As a banana sub-variety, the Giant Cavendish is known to be one of the largest, if not the biggest banana variety to exist in the world.
Image from Home Stratosphere
The Giant Cavendish is known to have a mildly sweet taste and can be eaten raw since it is highly nutritious.
Also known as Rhino horn plantains, the Rhino horn is a hybrid variety of bananas that can grow into a record-breaking length of two feet! Visually, the Rhino horn banana is very large, with a light blue-green hue that can also turn green or yellow.
Image from alchetron.com
Rhino horn bananas are usually used as ornamental plants for their unique aesthetics, but the fruit itself can be cooked or eaten raw.
We’ve already introduced blue bananas, so a red one should not be that much of a surprise. Red bananas are unique not just for their differently colored peel, but also for the color of the fruit itself. A red banana’s flesh takes on a creamy or light pink hue which combines well with its sweet undertones that some claim is reminiscent of raspberries!
Image from NewsToday.net
Red bananas are highly nutritious with higher levels of beta-carotene, iron, and vitamin C compared to other bananas.
Giant Highland Banana
The largest banana in existence and the biggest herbaceous plant on the planet, the Giant Highland banana is definitely one banana variety that not many people have seen yet.
Image from krishijargan.com
There is little room for exaggeration when it comes to a Giant Hiland Banana. And one of the most probable reasons for that is because its 25-30 cm long fruits already take up all the room. We repeat: a Giant Highland banana grows up to 25-30 cm long in length. That is a banana almost as long as a ruler.
The Wonderful World Of Bananas
A banana is a staple fruit in many Asian countries, especially in Filipino households. With the fruit’s delightful and wide array of flavors, textures, and culinary possibilities, bananas surely have their own unique charm that no other fruit can compare. Sweet, creamy, tangy–bananas can be enjoyed raw or prepared in many ways.
When it comes to bananas, size really does not matter. Bananas can be enjoyed by everybody and it does not come short with its own nutritional values that benefit our health and overall wellness. Bananas have countless varieties, and each one has its own charm. So dare venture beyond what is normal to appreciate and enjoy other exciting varieties of the king of fruits, the banana.