14 Distinctive Varieties of Bananas

Bananas are one of the crucial widespread fruits on the earth.

They’re a wholesome, scrumptious snack and straightforward to make use of in baking and cooking.

Though you might solely see a number of varieties at your native retailer, over 1,000 sorts of bananas (Musa) exist across the globe (1).

These embrace each candy and savory varieties, lots of which are available in distinctive colours, flavors, and shapes.

Bananas supply quite a few well being advantages.

This widespread yellow fruit is an efficient supply of potassium and magnesium, which your physique makes use of for nerve and muscle perform, in addition to to keep up fluid and pH stability (2, 3).

Their starches flip into sugar as they ripen. For those who eat your bananas earlier than they’re absolutely ripe, you’ll get the advantages of various kinds of wholesome starch (3, 4).

Their quickly digestible starch is metabolized into glucose, which your physique can use for a fast burst of power, whereas their slowly digestible starch acts as a longer-lasting type of gas and helps stabilize blood sugar ranges (3).

Bananas’ resistant starch is fermented in your massive gut, the place it feeds your wholesome intestine micro organism (3, 4).

Moreover, antioxidants like phenolic compounds and carotenoids on this tasty fruit might shield your cells from oxidative harm (5, 6).

Bananas are additionally wealthy in serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters assist regulate your coronary heart fee, blood strain, and temper (5, 6).


Bananas might help digestion and assist stability your blood sugar, amongst different advantages. To get essentially the most helpful starch, eat them after they’re barely underripe.

Bananas are categorized as both dessert bananas, that are candy and eaten uncooked, or cooking bananas, that are starchy and just like potatoes.

Cooking bananas are often boiled, fried, or grilled and eaten alongside savory dishes. They’re also known as plantains in the USA (5, 6).

Vitamin info

Listed here are the vitamins in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of each varieties of bananas when ripe and uncooked (2, 7):

Cooking bananas are greater in provitamin A and vitamin C, in addition to carbs and energy. The 2 varieties share comparable quantities of most different vitamins (2, 3, 7).


Cooking bananas, also called plantains, are starchier and better in carbs than dessert bananas, that are candy and often eaten uncooked.

All dessert bananas are candy however range in form, dimension, colour, and taste. Many are solely out there in sure nations, however you could find a few of them at specialty markets or on-line.

Listed here are 9 attention-grabbing types of dessert bananas (5, 6, 8, 9):

  1. Cavendish. Essentially the most extensively exported banana on the earth, the Cavendish has a sturdy peel that travels effectively. Nearly all bananas bought in the USA and Europe are this selection.
  2. Gros Michel. Also referred to as Massive Mike, this was the top-exported banana till a lot of the crop was worn out by a fungus within the 1950s. It’s comparable in style and dimension to Cavendish and nonetheless out there in some locations.
  3. Woman Finger. A small banana that averages 4–5 inches (10–12.5 cm) lengthy, with skinny, light-yellow pores and skin and candy, creamy flesh. Woman Fingers are typically labeled “baby (niño).”
  4. Blue Java. Additionally referred to as “ice cream” bananas as a result of they’re mentioned to style like vanilla ice cream, these have a bluish-silvery peel that turns pale yellow when ripe.
  5. Manzano. Additionally referred to as “apple bananas,” these quick, chubby fruits have a touch of apple and strawberry. They’re absolutely ripe and style greatest when the pores and skin turns black. Manzano is the most well-liked dessert selection within the tropics.
  6. Pink. The thick pores and skin of pink bananas begins pink or maroon however turns yellow-orange when ripe. The flesh is nice and tinged with pink or orange.
  7. Goldfinger. This newer selection from Honduras has a candy and barely apple-like taste.
  8. Mysore. This small fruit is an important banana crop in India. It has a skinny pores and skin and a touch of tartness.
  9. Praying Fingers. You’ll acknowledge this selection by the 2 adjoining “hands” that develop fused collectively, giving the fruit its title. It’s much less candy than different varieties and has a refined vanilla taste.


Dessert bananas are candy, tender, and creamy. They arrive in varied sizes and colours and have refined variations in taste. Search for them in specialty markets, on-line, or tropical locations.

Cooking bananas, or plantains, are a staple in lots of components of the world, together with the Caribbean, Central America, and components of Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia (8, 9).

They’ve a impartial taste and are often roasted, boiled, or fried. Whereas they are often eaten uncooked when ripe, they’ve a softer texture when cooked (6).

Listed here are 5 varieties of cooking bananas (5, 6, 8, 9):

  1. Orinoco. Also referred to as “burro,” these are thick fruits with an angular form and salmon-tinted flesh.
  2. Bluggoe. It is a massive, starchy plantain with a straight form.
  3. Fehi. These copper-toned fruits typically have seeds. They’re tasty when boiled or roasted.
  4. Macho plantain. That is essentially the most extensively grown plantain in the USA. It’s significantly frequent in Florida.
  5. Rhino Horn. The biggest of the bananas, Rhino Horn plantains are from Africa and may develop as much as 2 ft (0.6 meters) lengthy.


Cooking bananas have a light taste and starchy texture. They’re tastier when cooked — usually through boiling, frying, or roasting — however can be eaten uncooked if ripe.

Dessert bananas grown for export are harvested when roughly 75% mature and nonetheless inexperienced or unripe. They’re usually handled with ethylene fuel, a pure ripening agent, shortly earlier than being delivered to the shop (8).

At dwelling, it’s greatest to maintain them on the counter and allow them to ripen at room temperature.

To gradual the ripening course of, you possibly can place almost-ripe bananas within the fridge. Although the pores and skin will flip black, the fruit will stay contemporary for a number of days.

To speed up the ripening course of, place them in a brown paper bag with a ripe apple.

You may also peel and freeze ripe bananas to be used in smoothies, banana bread, or nondairy ice cream.


Dessert bananas might be saved at room temperature to ripen. They can be frozen and used later for varied treats.

Bananas are a nutritious fruit that may be loved as a candy snack or a savory facet.

They’re categorized as both dessert bananas or cooking bananas, which you will know as plantains.

It’s effectively price in search of out differing types, particularly for those who’re touring to a tropical vacation spot — as over 1,000 varieties can be found.

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