Season: They’re native to Southeast Asia but grown in several countries near the equator and are available year-round.
Flavor: Bananas have an interesting flavor transition during their ripening process. Unripe bananas which still contain the green peel have a bland flavor with apparent notes of grassiness. Furthermore, less ripe bananas contain higher levels of starch and therefore have a “starchier” taste. As they ripen a more distinctive fruity flavor develops accompanied melon, pineapple, candy and clove flavor notes. Yellow bananas have higher sugar concentrations and therefore taste sweeter. Finally, when the peel has become brown, the banana contains notes which are reminiscent of vanilla, honey and rum.
Choosing & Storage: Look for plump, firm, and brightly colored bananas. Occasional brown spots on the skin are normal. Avoid sunken, moist-looking dark areas, split skins or stems.
Bananas that require ripening should be left at room temperature, but away from heat or direct sun. To speed ripening, place them in a closed paper bag. Once ripe bananas can be held at room temperature for a day or two. Refrigerate to slow down ripening. Although the skins will turn dark, the fruits will remain edible. Keep refrigerated bananas for up to two weeks. Do not refrigerate unripe bananas because the exposure to cold interrupts their ripening cycle.
How to use: Eat them fresh! Bake them into “banana bread”. Use to thicken and sweeten smoothies. Dip in melted chocolate, roll in nuts and freeze for a sweet frozen treat.
Nutrition: Bananas are a healthy source of fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and various antioxidants and phytonutrients. Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Folate, Niacin, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium.