7 Best Tasting Banana Varieties Apart From Cavendish Banana

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world. Their sweet, creamy texture makes them an appealing snack or addition to smoothies, baked goods and more. But not all bananas taste the same – there are actually hundreds of banana varieties that range in flavor, texture, size and appearance.

If you’re looking to venture beyond the standard Cavendish banana found in most grocery stores, consider seeking out some of these tasty banana varieties to enjoy new flavors and textures.

Here are 7 of the best-tasting banana varieties to add more banana bliss to your life:

1. Lady Finger Banana

Best Tasting Banana Varieties, FruitoNix

The Lady Finger banana is a long, thin variety that tastes sweeter than the common Cavendish. It gets its name from its petite size and curved shape that looks like a dainty lady’s finger.

Lady Fingers have a tangy lemon-lime flavor when ripe, offering a bolder and more complex taste than regular bananas. Their flesh is whitish in color before ripening and then turns a deep yellow with tiny black spots when ready to eat.

These petite bananas hold their shape well when cooked, making them a great choice for frying, roasting or adding to pancakes and muffins. Their sweet-tart flavor pairs well with chocolate, peanut butter and orange flavors.

2. Gros Michel Banana

Best Tasting Banana Varieties, FruitoNix

The Gros Michel banana, celebrated for its exquisite sweetness, was once the reigning star among banana varieties. Its delectable taste and luscious texture made it a favorite choice for banana enthusiasts worldwide. However, the spread of Panama disease threatened this sugary delight, leading to its decline in commercial cultivation.

The banana industry shifted its focus to the Cavendish variety, which, while less sweet, exhibited resistance to the disease. Nonetheless, the memory of the Gros Michel’s unparalleled sweetness persists, serving as a reminder of the delicate balance between flavor and the challenges that can impact beloved crops.

3. Blue Java Banana

Best Tasting Banana Varieties, FruitoNix

The Blue Java banana has a unique appearance and flavor unlike other varieties. It gets its name from its blue-gray colored peel and its origins – Java, Indonesia.

Underneath its blueish skin, the flesh is creamy white with a mild, icy sweetness reminiscent of vanilla ice cream. The fruit is plump and chunky, with a texture similar to apples when unripe. Blue Javas offer a fantastic tropical twist for fruit salads, smoothies, Vegan ice cream and more.

4. Manzano Banana

Best Tasting Banana Varieties, FruitoNix

Hailing from Central and South America, the Manzano banana wins for its outstanding apple-strawberry flavor that offers something different from typical bananas.

These short, chubby fruits have a creamy strawberry-apple pie flavor when fully ripe. But even when less mature, they maintain a characteristic sweetness. Manzanos are also quite firm, making them excellent for baking, grilling, roasting or sautéing. Their versatility and flavor makes them a favorite among chefs.

5. Baby Bananas

Best Tasting Banana Varieties, FruitoNix

Tiny but mighty, these petite 3-inch bananas pack a full banana taste in an adorable bite-sized fruit. Perfect for kids’ lunches or as sweet party snacks, these mini bananas are fully ripe when their skins turn solid black.

Their small stature makes them super convenient for eating fresh on-the-go. They also work beautifully baked into muffins or loaves or dipped in chocolate for an easy upgraded dessert. Try adding them to yogurt parfaits too for a no-prep power breakfast.

6. Pisang Raja

Best Tasting Banana Varieties, FruitoNix

Also known as Musa Belle bananas, the Pisang Raja is a staple breakfast fruit in Indonesia and Malaysia. When ripe, these have a sweet, tropical flavor similar to pineapples and mangos.

Pisang Rajas are delicious eaten fresh but won’t stand up to cooking well since they have a soft, juicy texture. Their thinner peel means faster ripening as well. Enjoy these aromatic bananas in fruit salads, smoothies or by themselves for their delicious honeyed flavor.

7. Red Banana

Best Tasting Banana Varieties, FruitoNix

Last but not least, red bananas offer a bright twist from yellow varieties we know. Their thick reddish-purple skins contain creamy white flesh with hints of raspberry flavor.

Red bananas tend to be plumper and shorter than yellow Cavendish bananas. When ripe, they become softer and sweeter but still retain their firmness. Their eye-catching color and flavor makes them ideal for fruit platters, salads, smoothies and baked goods.

Wrapping Up

There are several delicious banana varieties to explore beyond the commonly known Cavendish banana. Each variety offers its own unique flavor and texture, allowing you to discover new and exciting tastes.

Beyond the classic yellow banana, there’s a whole world of diverse banana types to explore based on your preferences. From dainty and sweet Lady Fingers to juicy, tropical Pisang Rajas, you’re sure to find a new favorite.

Seeking out heirloom and organic varieties at farmers markets and specialty grocers can help you access some of these less common banana types. You may also be able to find them at select grocery stores depending on your location.

Let your taste buds go bananas with Blue Java’s icy vanilla notes or Manzano’s sweet strawberry apple flavors. Enjoy Red Banana’s bright hue blending into fruit salads and Ice Cream Banana’s creamy texture baked into breads.

With so many options, why settle for the same old banana when you can embark on an adventure of new flavors, colors, shapes and textures? Branch out and expand your recipe repertoire by incorporating diverse banana varieties.

Your banana bread, smoothies, ice cream and more are all about to get a delicious makeover once you explore the possibilities. No longer will you look at a banana as just a banana, but rather as a way to explore different flavor profiles and culinary possibilities.

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