I always want to find and try many different types of bananas in the world. After years, I have to tell you that banana varieties are so diverse. Each variation has its unique shape, taste, and uses that I think some of you have not known.
If you are also curious about bananas, don’t miss this article as you will be able to gain a lot of knowledge about them.
They are all over the world, but if you have a chance to visit some Asian countries, there are more chances that you can try several banana varieties there.
In this list below, I will provide you with the most detailed information about 19 different varieties of bananas. Stay here! Some of them may shock you because of their unusual features.
As the name suggests, dessert bananas are used for eating fresh or making desserts rather than cooking. These varieties typically have a usual appearance and delicious flavor. Let’s discover what they are!
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|Types of dessert bananas||Characteristics||Uses|
|Red||Reddish-purple skin, white or cream flesh||Eating raw, making salads and desserts|
|Cavendish||Smooth and yellow skin, light yellow flesh||Eating raw, making baked desserts, pancakes, smoothies, and banana bread.|
|Blue Java||Blue when unripe, pale yellow when mature||Eating raw and cooking|
|Goldfinger||Apple-like sweet, resistant to wind, cold weather, and diseases||Eating raw, making salads and ice-cream|
|Manzano||Small, taste like apples and strawberries||Making pies, bread, pancakes, smoothies, waffles, puddings, fritters, meat, and poultry.|
|Nanjangud||Mildly tart, aromatic||Eating raw|
|Gros Michel||Sweet, creamy, strong aroma||Making banana pies|
|Giant Cavendish||Mild sweet, nutritious||Eating raw|
|Lady's Finger||Small, honey-like sweet||Eating raw|
|Barangan||Seed-free, sweet||Eating raw|
|Rajapuri||Sweet, dense, creamy, 5-6 inches long||Eating raw|
1. Red Bananas
Have you ever seen red bananas? I am sure that you will be astounded once you see them. They have reddish-purple skin. The flesh has a cream or light pink hue.
This type of banana belongs to the species of Musa Cuminata. People mainly use this banana species as a dessert banana.
Compared to ordinary bananas, red bananas are sweeter with some earthy notes. Some of them can have the flavor of raspberries. Their size varies. Some can be smaller, and some are larger than ordinary bananas.
Red bananas are high in nutrition. They have more vitamin C and beta carotene than ordinary bananas. In addition, they are rich in iron and potassium. More amazingly, they last longer than ordinary bananas.
You can enjoy red bananas as a whole or chop them and add them to salads and desserts. You can also bake, fry, or toast them. They also come in dried form.
You need an excellent guide on preparing and enjoying red bananas.
This is the most common variety of bananas. It has smooth and beautiful yellow skin and light yellow flesh. It belongs to the Musa acuminata species.
When it is ripe, it turns to a dark yellow color with some brown spots. People harvest the fruit when they are ripe or still green. After that, they will gradually become yellow and sweeter. Overripe Cavendish bananas often turn black and mushy.
Cavendish bananas are incredibly versatile. You can eat them raw or utilize them to make a variety of recipes, such as salads and baked desserts, pancakes, smoothies, and banana bread.
Another thing you should know about this variety is that it is easily affected by fungal outbreaks, diseases, and genetic mutations. These things can cause the bananas to commercial extinction.
3. Blue Java
There are red bananas and also blue bananas. They are called “Blue Java” or “Ice cream bananas”. Their place of origin is in Southeast Asia. This variety is a hybrid between Musa Balbisiana and Musa Acuminata bananas.
When unripe, they have a dreamy blue color. When ripe, they turn to a pale yellow hue. Their texture is similar to ice cream, and their flavor resembles vanilla and custard. Amazing, isn’t it?
You can eat Blue Java bananas raw or cook them. It is also a good idea to add them to smoothies, ice cream, and relish. This is the favorite variety of growers since it can withstand cold weather very well.
Goldfinger bananas have an excellent apple-like taste, which is super sweet. It shares some similarities between Cavendish and Lady Finger bananas.
They have the typical yellow color of ordinary bananas. Another wonderful thing about this variety is that it will not turn brown when you slice or cut it. Feel free to slice it and add it to your salads or ice cream.
This variety came from Honduras. It was created at the Honduran Foundation for Agricultural Research by Phillip Rowe, Franklin Rosales, and other scientists. It is resistant to wind, cold weather, and diseases.
Manzano bananas are an exceptionally delicious variety. They are just as big as fingers yet they have the sweetness of apples and strawberries. That’s why people also call them “apple bananas”. They are even sweeter than Cavendish bananas.
Similar to other varieties, Manzano bananas are green when unripe and yellow when ripe. People often harvest them when they are still green.
With such a tasty flavor, Manzano bananas are suitable for use in various savory dishes and desserts from bananas such as pies, bread, pancakes, smoothies, waffles, and puddings. You can also add them to savory recipes such as fritters, meat, and poultry.
Let’s see what Manzano bananas taste like.
Nanjangud bananas are a variety of India. Local people often call them Nanjangud Rasabalehannu.
With their unique flavor and aroma, Nanjangud bananas stand out from the rest. Their texture ranges from grainy to smooth.
Thanks to the black clay alluvial saline soil and the growing method in the Nanjangud region in India, this variety has a very special scent.
If you find them in other areas, their flavor might be different. However, it is not easy to find this variety in America.
7. Gros Michel
You can hardly distinguish between Gros Michel and Cavendish bananas because they have nearly the same size and taste.
Gros Michel tastes sweet and has a creamy texture. However, Gros Michel is not as popular as Cavendish bananas. In addition, they have a very strong aroma. People often use them to make banana pies.
Another name for Gros Michel is “Big Mike”. Its skin is very thick, which makes it ideal for transporting. It can resist bruising pretty well.
8. Giant Cavendish
As the name suggests, this variety is the larger version of Cavendish bananas. It is about 15-23 cm long. Another common name for it is “William bananas”.
People often harvest bananas when they are unripe. When ripe, they have a very large size and have a mild sweet taste. They are also highly nutritious. It is best to eat them raw.
9. Lady’s Finger
Lady’s Finger bananas are also called “Baby bananas”. This variety is just about 3-5 inches long and has a bright yellow color. Its skin is quite thin.
When fully ripe, it will have some dark spots. The flesh inside has a creamy consistency and sweet taste. They are as sweet as honey and even sweeter than Cavendish bananas.
People love to enjoy this variety raw because it is so sweet. These bananas are particularly ideal for children since they are small.
A detailed review of Lady’s Finger bananas is what you need right now.
Barragan bananas are a seed-free variety. They have the signature yellow color of bananas and some black spots on the peel when ripe. The flesh inside has a white color, firm texture, and a lovely mild sweet taste.
In North Sumatra, a province of Indonesia, and other tropical regions, people enjoy it as a dessert. It is rich in vitamins, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Rajapuri is an Indian banana. They have a very deliciously sweet taste. This banana kind is popular in India as well as other countries in Asia. Their texture is dense and a little bit creamy.
This variety is medium in size. It is only about 5-6 inches long. People love to enjoy it raw. They also grow it as an ornamental plant. The plants are about 10-foot tall, which is smaller than other varieties.
Let’s move to the second part, which is about cooking bananas! If you think of adding bananas to your recipes, don’t miss these varieties. Their flavors and textures will make your dishes more delicious and flavorful.
|Types of cooking bananas||Characteristics||Uses|
|Praying Hands||Green when unripe and yellow when ripe, semi-sweet taste and firm texture||Eating raw, making muffins, bread, and fries|
|Bluggoe||Large, straight, starchy||Making curries, fries, roasted and baked dishes.|
|Rhino Horn||Long, 12-14 inches||Eating raw, cooking, decorating|
|Pisang Raja||Honey-like sweet, firm, yellow or orange skin||Eating raw, making Pisang Goreng|
|Fehi bananas||Astringent, nutritious||Baking or boiling|
|Macho plantain||Sweet and sour||Roasting or sauteing|
|Burro bananas||Tangy, lemon-like, crispy, nutritious||Eating raw when ripe, cooking when unripe|
|Saba bananas||Large, thick skin, bluish-green color||Making Ginanggang, Halo-halo, banana ketchup, and turrón|
12. Praying Hands
This variety has a very special shape. The medium-sized fruits do not separate but are closely tied to each other on the bunch, creating a hand-like appearance. That’s why they are called “Praying Hands”.
Regarding colors, Praying Hands bananas are green when unripe and yellow when ripe, similar to other types. The flesh inside has a yellowish-white color. It has a starchy and semi-sweet flavor and a firm texture.
This type of banana is also very nutritious. They contain vitamin A, C, calcium, iron, copper, and magnesium.
You can use this variety in several ways. You can use them in sweet and savory recipes, such as muffins, bread, and fries. However, it is best to make savory dishes with them. People also eat them raw when they are overripe and have a soft texture.
Let’s take a closer look at the unique shape of Praying Hands bananas.
Bluggoe bananas are ordinary in Thailand, southern India, East Africa, and Myanmar. People mainly use them for cooking bananas, yet they can be eaten raw or used to make desserts. They are pretty large and have a straight shape.
This variety is very starchy. They taste much like salmon. You can use them to make curries, fries, roasted and baked dishes.
14. Rhino Horn
This is the largest variety of bananas. The fruits can be 12-14 inches. However, some fruits can be 24-inch in length (2 feet long). It also has other names, such as Rhino Horn plantains or African Rhino Horn bananas.
This variety is native to Africa. It is a hybrid between Musa Balbisiana and Musa Acuminata bananas.
People often eat them raw and use them for cooking. They also use Rhino Horn bananas as a decorative item because of their exotic appearance.
15. Pisang Raja
Pisang Raja bananas have a honey-like sweet taste and firm texture that will amaze you. They came from Indonesia. People also call them “Musa Belle”. They have the typical yellow color of bananas, although some can be orange.
People use them to make Pisang Goreng (fried bananas) – famous street food in Indonesia. They also eat them raw. This variety is only popular in Indonesia. You can hardly find it in the United States and other countries.
Unlike common types of bananas which have a yellow color, Fehi bananas’ color range from orange to red. This banana species is also called Fe’i or Féi bananas.
The flesh inside is orange or yellow. Notably, you should not eat this variety raw since they have an astringent flavor. You should bake or boil them before serving.
But in some regions, people also eat Fehi bananas raw when they are fully ripe. Some of their subvarieties, such as Karat bananas, have a sweet taste and soft texture.
What people like about Fehi bananas is their impressive nutrition profile. They are rich in beta carotene. The deeper the color is, the more beta carotene they have. In addition, they contain a lot of starch but very little sugar.
17. Macho Plantain
Macho plantains are both sweet and sour. People mainly cultivate them in Florida. Notably, they are the most prevalent type of plantain in the United States. With such a unique taste, they are suitable for roasting, frying, and sauteing.
This kind of plantain is quite large. It is larger than Cavendish bananas. More amazingly, it is highly nutritious. It also has a low carbon footprint and medium water footprint.
Burro bananas are popular in tropical and subtropical regions. They come in different names, such as Hog bananas, Horse bananas, and Orinoco bananas.
This banana has a tangy and lemon-like taste, quite different from other varieties. They also have slightly crispy flesh, particularly in the center.
Regarding appearance, they have a square shape. Compared to Cavendish bananas, they have a flatter and more square shape in smaller sizes.
Their skin is deep yellow with some dark specks when ripe and dark green when unripe. People often use them for cooking. In Latin, Caribbean, Thai, and India, people pair them with pork, chicken, chilies, cream, and berries.
When unripe, they are used for cooking. But when they are completely ripe, you can eat them raw.
Burro bananas have a good nutrient profile. They are rich in vitamin B, C, magnesium, fiber, and potassium.
A wide range of Burro banana recipes is waiting for you to explore.
Saba bananas came from the Philippines, and they play an important role in Filipino cuisine. You can cook with them or enjoy them raw.
They are large in size and have an angular shape. Their skin is very thick with bluish-green color when immature. The locals use them to make dishes like Ginanggang, Halo-halo, banana ketchup, and turrón.
To enjoy the best taste of bananas, you should know when they are ready to eat. In this section, I will share with you the ripening stage of bananas to have a general idea of when to eat them.
Bananas start out green. Their skin is thick and hard. People do not eat them raw but use them to make soups and stew. They have a firm and starchy texture. If you want to make them ripe faster, you can place them in a plastic bag and put an apple in it.
After some time, bananas will turn yellow. That’s when they are fully ripe. They are sweet and softer than when they are still green. At this stage, you can look for whether refrigerating the bananas is possible.
You can eat them raw or add them to your sweet and savory recipes.
When your bananas have a yellow color with some dark spots, they taste best. They become super tender and sweet. Enjoying them raw is a great idea. You can also use them to make desserts, smoothies, and puddings.
When your bananas turn brown, they are overripe. They have a very soft and somewhat mushy texture. Their taste is much stronger. Not all people eat them fresh but use them to make desserts, shakes, and smoothies.
There are tons of recipes that you can make with bananas. In this section, I will share my favorite recipes so that you have more choices. These are among the best dishes you can make with bananas.
This banana pudding recipe features layers of banana slices, milk, and meringue. They are full of flavors and textures. They have the softness and sweetness of bananas, the crunchiness of Nilla wafers, and the richness of milk.
This banana pudding recipe will be one of the best desserts you’ve ever tried.
Banana smoothie is one of the healthiest and most refreshing drinks that you have ever made. In only 5 minutes, you will have a cool and delicious summer drink to beat the heat. More amazingly, you can combine bananas with other flavors, namely chocolate and peanut butter.
There is no better snack than banana fritters. This excellent dessert is super crispy and has the subtle sweetness of banana and cinnamon. Once you try them, you won’t be able to stop eating. Serve them with honey to enjoy their best taste.
4. Banana Milk
Banana milk is an essential staple of Korean drinks. It is a very delicious and nutritious drink. More importantly, it is effortless to make. All you have to do is blend banana, milk, and other flavorings until a creamy consistency is achieved.
Start your day with this delicate banana milk recipe.
The number of banana varieties is beyond your expectation, right? There are so many types of bananas with different shapes, colors, and flavors. And all of these types are so delicious, whether they are dessert or cooking bananas.
If you find this article informative and helpful, support it by clicking a like or share. So what is your experience with these varieties? Is there anything else you want to know about them? You can share your opinion in the comment part.
Thank you, and see you next time!