Bananas are one of the most popular foods in the world. Grown in about 150 countries around the world, there are more than 1,000 different types of bananas. However, you’d never know it from walking into a food store. Typically, you’ll only see one type of banana on the shelves. It’s yellow, about eight to 10 inches long, and what most people think of when they think of a “banana.” Here’s more about the different varieties of this delicious fruit.
Interesting Facts About Bananas
According to the Produce Marketing Association, bananas are the most popular fruit. They’re followed closely by apples, then strawberries, and grapes. Bananas are inexpensive and widely available. They’re also easy to take with you for an on-the-go snack.
Bananas may seem to go hand in hand with apples and oranges, but unlike these tree fruits, bananas are actually considered a berry. They have a soft skin, a fleshy middle, and small seeds. Therefore, they meet all of the requirements of a berry. Bananas thrive in hot, tropical climates, and are often imported from South America. Though there are over 1,000 different varieties of bananas, only about half can be eaten. Some varieties of bananas need to be cooked to release their high content of starch. Others are best eaten raw, just like the variety you know and love.
If you’re looking for a delicious banana treat, consider our Chocolate Dipped Bananas Box. It comes with 12 or 24 banana bites dipped in a combination of semisweet chocolate on one side and white chocolate on the other.
Top 10 Types of Bananas
Out of the over 1,000 types of bananas grown around the world, here are ten delicious varieties to try:
Cavendish bananas are the most popular banana on the market today. This type of banana fits the needs of mass production well. It’s resistant to disease, stays green for several weeks after being harvested, has a high yield rate, and looks good on store shelves.
Until the 1950s, the dominant type of banana on the market was called the Gros Michel. It is considered tastier than the Cavendish but was swept out by a strain of Panama disease, brought on by a noxious, soil-inhabiting fungus. Today, it’s hard, but not impossible, to find.
3. Red Bananas
Red bananas have a soft texture with a bursting, sweet flavor. In fact, they taste like a regular banana with just a hint of raspberry. A such, they are often used in sweet desserts, but can also be used in savory dishes.
4. Saba Bananas
Soba bananas are a type of hybrid banana that is primarily cultivated in the Philippines and used for cooking. This type of banana is often referred to as a cardaba banana, with a traditional yellow peel and a square, blocky shape.
The Dwarf Cavendish banana tree gets its name because it’s a much shorter tree than average varieties, measuring in at just eight to 10 feet. The banana that grows on the tree is about the same size as a regular Cavendish banana and tastes almost identical.
With their bluish hue, Blue Java bananas are pretty distinctive. They also taste just like vanilla ice cream and have the same soft, creamy texture. They’re widely grown in Southeast Asia and are a delicious and healthy dessert.
Popular in the South Pacific, Lady Finger bananas are shorter than the typical banana you’d find at the food store, but are much sweeter. They taste somewhat like a combination of apples and bananas.
Burro bananas are shorter and more square in shape than the Cavendish variety. They have dark green peels, taste slightly of a combination of lemon and bananas, and are more firm, especially toward the center.
The plantain is a starchier cousin of the banana and can be found all over the Caribbean and Central America. Plantains almost always need to be cooked before they can be eaten and are bigger, firmer, and have a thicker skin than bananas.
10. Manzano Bananas
Grown in Central and South America, Manzano bananas are short and chubby bananas with a sweet flavor reminiscent of apples. Also called apple bananas, this variety has skin that turns black when fully ripe.
Feel free to step outside your comfort zone and try a few new types of bananas. Step outside the common Cavendish variety and you might just find a brand new favorite.