The banana as we know it might be a breakfast staple, but what about the blue banana?
You may not know it, but this fruit does come in a striking bubble-gum shade. And it’s completely natural; this variety grows in Asia and Fiji, where it’s both humid and sunny. It’s even able to resist the cold, which certainly isn’t the case with our usual yellow bananas. The best part? This blue variety has a surprisingly delicious vanilla-like taste.
What is a blue banana and why does it taste like vanilla ice cream?
The Blue Java banana could well be a timely trend in light of COP26, where 80 countries have already committed to reducing methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
Blue bananas are better able to resist cold spells than the varieties we are used to, and the trees can withstand negative temperatures of up to -7°C, whereas yellow bananas are usually only grown in tropical environments. The hardy Blue Java can be found at altitudes of up to 1,800m and is grown in Fiji, the Philippines, and other parts of Southeast Asia.
And with the effects of climate change, you can imagine that it won’t be long before this variety of blue bananas will be grown in other parts of the world. In fact, the blue banana is already a subject of great interest — so much so that seeds are available on the internet via Amazon or online garden centers. On social media, people are also raving about this banana variety and its intriguing colour.
But the Blue Java banana isn’t just surprising on the outside; its taste is also distinctly different with a vanilla-like flavour. In fact, people in Hawaii are calling it the “ice cream banana.”
Blue is the new black
So is blue making its way back onto our plates? Blueberries and Merlot grapes aside, the colour can seem unusual in the food world.
However, it’s actually not as rare as you might think. Tomatoes, for example, now have a blue variety that can be grown in your garden if the weather conditions are humid and don’t exceed 25°C. Small in size and reminiscent of the cocktail variety, this tomato, named OSU Blue, was created in the early 2000s by an American research institute.
Then there’s the purple apple-berry, a vine native to the forests of Australia and Tasmania. The plant’s flowers take a tubular shape, giving rise to purplish-blue fruits. When ripe, their texture is reminiscent of eggplant, while the taste is close to that of an apple.
Vanilla also comes in a “blue” variety, although it isn’t actually blue in colour. Instead, it’s named so because the people of Reunion Island said a plant was “blue” if it was in good health.
This type of vanilla, from Reunion Island, is an object of desire for many great chefs, and benefits from a long maturation period. The Escale Bleue brand — its only supplier — even extends its maturation to six years for a limited edition version. Its subtle flavour isn’t its only asset; the blue vanilla is entirely edible.
Hero and featured image credits: Fine Dining Lovers, Wikipedia Creative Commons and @racewestcompany. This story is published via AFP Relaxnews
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