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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 09-13-2020, 06:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Location: Geneva, Florida
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Default Aaron's Banana Tasting Sessions- Orinoco

I have decided to document my taste report of different bananas, and I hope to continue with many other varieties in the future. This will help others who are searching for different opinions on flavor.

So the banana up first is my most recent bunch, the classic Orinoco. This is the regular version. I have tried them several ways; cooked green and yellow, as well as ripe enough to eat out of hand. When they are green, they are very firm and have a potato like flavor and texture, with a slight difference. Those who love potatoes, but are allergic or sensitive to them(nightshade allergy/sensitivity) would really like this alternative. They are very firm, even when fully cooked, and thus would do well boiled. I enjoyed them at this stage.

When yellow and sweet, I fried them like Maduro plantains. I personally don't like the flavor, especially in comparison to a plantain. The flavor can be described like someone switched out its sweetness with artificial sweeteners, and its is quite pronounced. Perhaps prepared in another fashion I might like them. In my opinion they bombed at this stage.

Eaten out of hand, I noticed they taste better than they did fried. The artificial like flavor that I tasted in the fried cooked version is not there. It is very similar to a regular store banana, but in my opinion is subpar. I could not detect any flavor notes, that set it apart. The texture is different than a regular banana, as it seemed less mealy. My wife thought these tasted better than store bananas, so tastes do indeed differ.

Overall, I would give this one a 5 out of 10 for flavor, 9 out of 10 for ease of growth, and 6 out of 10 for ornamental use. This is a great banana to have, as it is very reliable and grows very easy. It can produce bananas reliably, and without having to put a lot of work into them. Here in Florida they are practically bullet proof.
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Old 09-13-2020, 11:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aaron's Banana Tasting Sessions- Orinoco

I would have rated fresh flavor lower than 5. Biggest issue I have with them is that they are very prone to folding in the wind, even when Praying Hands, Misi Luki, and Brazilian right next to them all hold up fine. Probably my least wind tolerant variety, not counting skinny ones like Pisang Ceylon and Poovan.
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Old 09-13-2020, 11:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
Location: Geneva, Florida
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Default Re: Aaron's Banana Tasting Sessions- Orinoco

I agree with you in regards to the wind. It is very prone to leaves snapping off, in fact I lost 2 leaves right before it flowered.
I gave it a 5 due to it tasting good cooked green and fried. As a fresh eating banana, or for cooking ripe, there are many many better choices.
It did impress me recently as a producer. I know of 2 patches close by that are "wild" in that no one cares for them in any way, and they both have bunches on them. Probably from all the rain we have been getting this season.
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Old 09-14-2020, 07:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Aaron's Banana Tasting Sessions- Orinoco

Thanks for the report! I would add that for tostones, they are the best! In my opinion, they have a slightly unique flavor, or after flavor.... Not sure but I like it! Definitely a utility banana!

I would rate with a store bought banana on a GOOD day, eating out of hand:

Store bought: 6
Orinoco: 6 1\2


And then Namwa and Manzano:

Namwa (tall): 8-9
Manzano: 10
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Aaron's Banana Tasting Sessions- Orinoco

Aaron, thanks for the post and sharing your thoughts.

First banana I grew as a kid
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Aaron's Banana Tasting Sessions- Orinoco

Thanks for the report Aaron! Always interested in what others regard as a good/bad banana!
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aaron's Banana Tasting Sessions- Orinoco

As an added thought, when I have visitors at the nursery, we often have bananas to taste, and if there are, say, three varieties ripe, about 2/3 will pick the two that I think are the best, but about 1/3 will choose the third one over the other two.

Not saying that we shouldn't try and put out taste evaluations, but my anecdotal experience suggests that there are very noticeable differences in taste perceptions.

As another example, those same 2/3 of tasters will comment on a "mild apple cider like" flavor to Misi Luki. About 1/3 will not detect it at all. My wife is in the 1/3 group.

I have often found that the differences fall largely along sugar and salt lines: do you go for the glazed donut or the Fritos. I am a donut guy, my wife a Fritos girl.
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