Alright, so there's the Cavendish
that pretty much everyone in the western world knows and loves. Anyone born after 1950 would think of that particular cultivar as the quintessential banana, and it happens to be the most widely cultivated and consumed fruit in the whole damn world. However, it had a mighty predecessor;
The Big Mike
With a more flavorful pulp and more pleasing texture, anyone alive before the fall of the Gros Michel would be able to tell you that the cavendish can suck balls, though I like them when they've still got a green tint. As soon as they're yellow, I make plans for banana bread.
Due to all cultivated bananas being bred sterile (so as to prevent chewing on seeds), every planted herb is a clone of another herb, meaning there's absolutely no genetic variability within any one variety of bananas. This led to the downfall of the Big Mike, as it became terribly apparent that the particular plant which was cloned was susceptible to a fungal infection known as Panama Disease. There are still some hybrids being bred that resemble the mighty berry, but mass cultivation would possibly lead to the same fate.
It is yet to be seen whether or not banana exporters will need to find a replacement for the cavendish, as it too is vulnerable to the fungal infection.
There's a particularly hardy Mexican variety called the Burro
, or the much more appealing, Chunky Banana.
Many varieties of banana stem are vulnerable to strong winds;
The Chunky is not. It is also resistant to Panama Disease, and can either be cooked while still green (as a plantain) or eaten when a deep yellow with brown spots. It has a flavor reminiscent of lemons and bananas at the same damn time. I bought a bunch of them in an ethnic grocery store, but they're not ripe yet, despite looking really close to it. They're a full third bigger than any web description I've found, making them as long as a large cavendish (about 8-9 inches) and nearly twice as thick. They're also decidedly square, but that's how they're supposed to look. A low bloodsugar made me test one, and it was not unlike eating a raw potato with lemon zest. I'll cook one later in the day, and then test the ripe flavor when the time is right.
There's even a cultivar grown in Hawaii called the Ice Cream Banana
, because it tastes like-you guessed it, dog shit. I'm kidding, it totally tastes like ice cream. At least, that's what wikipedia and that website trying to sell them says. If a naturally growing plant makes fruit that tastes like vanilla custard and is blue before it becomes ripe...I want to eat it. It's also known as the Blue Java Banana, because of the silvery blue sheen an unripe berry has.
Now, there are exactly two bananas listed here that I have not eaten. I didn't list those tiny red bananas
because they taste exactly like the cavendish. Oops, I just listed them. And I have eaten them.
What bananas are available in your various international markets?
I expect it's something to do with cheap rolex watches enlarging his penis while he makes $400,000 an hour working from home.