Pretty much all the bananas you see for sale throughout the United States are exactly the same. They’re Cavendish bananas—a cultivar that was chosen more for its agricultural advantages than for its taste. But that doesn’t mean plenty of other varieties don’t exist throughout the world: bananas with varying flavors and textures that might surprise those who have never tried the fruit outside of what they’ve found in the supermarket.
The ice cream banana is one such unique variety, and it was recently lauded by The Huffington Post. These fruits are common in Hawaii and other warm areas like Southeast Asia and Central America, but rarely make it to the States, in part because they just aren’t as good if they aren’t ripened at the source. According to HuffPost Hawaii, we’re missing out. “Like its name suggests, the ice cream banana is sweet with undeniable hints of vanilla,” they write. “At its most ripe stage, its texture is fluffier and creamier than the typical Chiquita you'll find at the store, and they practically melt in your mouth.”
Ken Love, executive director of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, reminded us mainlanders that ice cream bananas aren’t the only variety we’re missing out on. “There are over 100 types of bananas in Hawaii, all tasting different,” Love told HuffPo. He specifically cites the sweet, citrusy apple banana and the berry-accented Mysore banana as examples of varieties we’ve come to neglect.
With all sorts of other foods seeing a renaissance, maybe it’s time for bananas to have a moment. Surely a banana that reminds people of ice cream is a good way to get things started.
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