Think the yellow bananas sold at the grocery store are the only kind of bananas around? Think again. There are over 1,000 different types of bananas grown throughout different parts of the world. Each comes with a different shape, color, and/or taste. Bananas are completely delicious, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Try our Chocolate Dipped Bananas Box, which is packed with bite-sized banana covered in white and semisweet chocolate for a tasty sweet treat.
Interesting Facts About Bananas
Bananas are actually considered a berry and grow in clusters, hanging from the plant. Bananas grow best in hot, humid climates and are most often imported from Central America, including Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Ecuador. Bananas come in all different colors, sizes, firmness, and taste. There are over 1,000 different varieties of bananas, about half of which are inedible.
The most common type of banana you’d find in your local food store is a Cavendish, but it wasn’t always this way. The Gros Michel, also known as Big Mike, was the first type of banana to be cultivated on a large scale. It has a sweeter taste and creamier texture than the banana you know and love. However, a virulent disease devastated the crop. By the 1960s, most commercial operations had stopped producing the Gros Michel and had switched over the Cavendish.
Top 10 Types of Bananas
It’s fascinating to learn about new banana varieties you never knew existed. Here are ten different types of bananas you might want to try.
1. Cavendish Banana
The Cavendish banana is your “typical” banana found at the local grocery store or farmer’s market. They are slightly sweet and have a creamy texture. They have various stages of ripening, from green to yellow, to yellow with brown spots. They’re grown all across Central America, and their production is essential to the economies in these areas.
2. Pisang Raja
Pisang Raja bananas are popular in Indonesia. Featuring a yellow to orange color, they taste like honey-flavored custard with a smooth and creamy consistency. They’re slightly smaller than Cavendish Bananas, averaging four to six inches in length.
3. Red Banana
As their name suggests, red bananas have a reddish-purple skin. They have light pink colored flesh and are much sweeter and softer than Cavendish bananas. They also have a slight raspberry flavor that makes them absolutely irresistible.
4. Lady Finger Banana
Lady Finger bananas, also known as baby bananas, are sweeter and smaller than Cavendish bananas. They’re usually around three inches in length and feature a creamy texture and sweet flavor with notes of honey.
5. Blue Java Banana
Blue Java bananas are also known as the ice cream banana due to their sweet vanilla flavor and extreme creaminess. They feature a beautiful blue peel and a white flesh. They’re actually pretty hardy and can grow in colder regions.
Plantains are a subgroup of bananas that are referred to as cooking bananas. They have a high starch content and are typically used in savory dishes. They aren’t typically consumed raw. They’re a food staple in West and Central Africa, the Caribbean islands, and Central America.
7. Manzano Banana
The Manzano Banana is sweeter than Cadvendish bananas with a hint of crunchy apple-strawberry flavor. They’re grown in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. They’re short and chubby with think yellow skins that turn black when fully ripe.
8. Burro Banana
Burro bananas have a lemony and tangy taste, which makes them one of the most unique types of bananas. They have a flatter, smaller and more square shape than Cavendish bananas. The flesh is creamy white or yellow and is soft with some firmness in the center.
9. Barangan Banana
Yellow with small black dots, the Barangan banana has a sweet, mild taste. The flesh is white with no seeds. It’s a popular variety and is eaten as a dessert in many regions across the tropics.
10. Goldfinger Banana
The Goldfinger banana was first grown in Honduras by a team of scientists as a pest-resistant banana. It can be cooked when green and eaten raw once fully ripe. It’s similar to the Cavendish banana, with its eventual aim to replace the more susceptible-to-disease variety.
Additional Interesting Tidbits and Frequently Ask Questions About Bananas
How many types of bananas are there?
There are more than 1,000 different types of bananas grown in more than 135 countries around the world. Many types of bananas cannot be eaten, however, as these types of bananas contain many hard seeds and very little pulp. Bananas can broadly be categorized into two groups: dessert bananas and cooking bananas. Plantains, often confused for bananas, can be categorized as cooking bananas, although some may consider plantains a separate fruit.
How many types of bananas are there in Hawaii?
There are more than 100 types of bananas grown in Hawaii. Cavendish and Brazilians are the two primary groups of dessert bananas grown in Hawaii, with the Bluefields group (including Bluefields and Dwarf Bluefields) once accounting for most commercial banana growth in Hawaii. However, as it’s susceptible to Panama wilt disease, it now accounts for less than 1% of Hawaii’s banana production. Of cooking bananas or plantains, Largo, Maia maole, and Popoulu are few common varieties grown in Hawaii.
How many types of bananas are there in the Philippines?
There are 20 types of bananas grown in the Philippines, with the Cavendish variety accounting for nearly half of total production volume. The Cavendish variety is also exported more than any other type of banana in the Philippines. Other banana varieties grown in the Philippines include Lakatan, Latundan, Saba (or Cardaba), Bungulan, Señorita, and Morado, among others.
How many types of bananas are in Ecuador?
There are about 300 banana varieties grown in Ecuador, with the popular Cavendish being the most widely produced type of banana. Ecuador is one of the top banana producers in the world, producing about 6% of the world’s total production.
How many types of bananas are there in Australia?
There are at least 7 types of bananas grown in Australia. The two main types of bananas grown in Australia are Cavendish and Lady Finger, accounting for 95% and 4% of Australia’s banana production, respectively. The remainder of banana production in Australia is primarily made up of the Ducasse, Sucrier, and Pacific Plantain varieties, while the Red Dacca and Bluggoe banana varieties are also found here.
Try our Sweet Safari With Dipped Fruit Box for a fresh take on bananas. It’s packed with banana pieces dipped in semisweet chocolate and white chocolate, pineapple monkeys, and so much more. Yum!