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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 08-04-2017, 12:22 PM   #21 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: American Goldfinger FHIA 1 taste report with pics

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Originally Posted by Tytaylor77 View Post
Nah the plant is as close as you can get to a goldfinger. Looks exactly like mine. Not manzano for sure. Flowers are yellow. It's a TC goldfinger. I wasn't aware it was that cool there. I bet that is what is causing the long fill time. The blue java I find is extremely cold hardy. So fingers are crossed for you that it is faster! Maybe it won't mind the night time dips.

Keep us updated. Especially on the blue java. I want to compare it to mine. Ours are exactly at the same stage! Good job! Doesn't matter where you are. Flowers are better than no flowers! Lol.
For sure Ty, will keep everyone posted on how it does, this certainly will be some great data for other growers as well. To recap. info from a previous thread on this forum, I've observed that namwah (from our local thai restaurant) actually filled in all the way in about 4 months and the fingers still survived even though the flowers opened in December! Rajapuri and american goldfinger both rotted out when flowering in december, so that suggests namwah may be more cold hardy than both.

Also, Pisang Ceylon seems to grow even in temps. in the high 60's, whereas all other cultivars so far seem to almost stop growing when it's that cold. Now that I actually have that Thai restaurant namwah (new cultivar name, LOL), it'll be interesting to compare it to Ice Cream. My ice cream definitely stops growing when it's cold, and won't move an inch until day temps are 70F or above.

I'm curious to see if there is any relation between a cultivar's ability to grow when it's cold and it's ability to survive freezing temps. If there is any relation, it would be a slightly more objective way of judging cold hardiness..
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:02 PM   #22 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: American Goldfinger FHIA 1 taste report with pics

Some new updates! turns out, if you leave them to ripen on the plant, the peels will split, so it's best to harvest them once you start seeing a finger or two turn yellow. Flavorwise, it's exactly the same mentioned in the beginning in this thread: absolutely AMAZING!!!! Upon reflection, I don't think you'll always see black spots on the peel at peak ripeness, I think it depends if the banana had some blemishes to begin with. Those spots become more pronounced as the peel senesces. It seemed like there was one finger that had no spots whatsoever and when it was eaten, it was like being in banana heaven!



Some new photos of American Goldfinger, taken 8/5/17. See those 4 dark yellow fingers in the foreground? They're absolutely at the perfect stage! The finger in the background that's starting to turn yellow...that still needs approx. 2-4 days in my conditions before eating:


They definitely started to split, but in my family, these bananas get devoured before they have a chance to go bad:


This was taken literally minutes after harvesting. Looking back, it's best to not let so many fingers ripen to avoid the skin from splitting:


Significantly bigger fingers this time around, but only the first had had very full, plump bananas. Some hands just didn't fill in (see hands in the background) because of the cold killing off the leaves, poor, suboptimal weather for bananas, etc. I'm curious to see if the ones that didn't fill in taste the same or not as good as the ones completely filled in, to be continued:


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Old 08-07-2017, 02:10 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: American Goldfinger FHIA 1 taste report with pics

excellent. thank you just bought one.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:19 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: American Goldfinger FHIA 1 taste report with pics

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It took 10 long months from the day the first flower opened until the day we had our first taste of American Goldfinger (FHIA-1) and it was worth the wait! The plants were grown outdoors in Northern California, and this first bunch flowered July 17, 2016 and was harvested May 18, 2017. This was what the bunch looked like when harvested:


Notice some fingers are completely yellow:


Here's a nice hand a few days after harvesting. Notice there's still some green on the "stems": at this stage, the bananas aren't very sweet but they aren't super astringent like Manzano:


When you start seeing brown spots and the color of the peel becomes darker yellow, that's when you want to eat them. This is still a day or two away from the peak, but you can see some spots forming:


Great snack sized fruit, but that's very environmental. I've heard these can get as big as a regular cavendish when grown in the tropics:


Unfortunately, I didn't photograph the outside of the banana at its peak, but here's what it looks like when opened up, it was a bit of a surprise (and quite pretty!):


and sliced in half:


Before being exposed to the cold, wet winter: the plants are just absolutely beautiful and create a tropical feel to the garden:



Here's what the plants looked like after taking a rough, cold winter. Despite all the leaves that were burned, the flavor wasn't affected negatively:





TASTE REPORT
TEXTURE- creamy (multiple people came to this conclusion) and my co-worker says dense, but I personally think it's slightly less dense than a cavendish, but not by much. Very delightful and enjoyable.

FIRMNESS A little more firm than a grocery store Cavendish at peak maturity.

SWEETNESS- Sweeter than a cavendish at peak maturity.

TARTNESS- A little tart when there is some green at the tip, but then becomes milder after becoming fully yellow (this was copied and pasted from Servatusprime's report and it is spot on!)

RIPENESS- 1-3 days after the finger has turned yellow (depends on the environment they're ripening under) seems to be when you get peak ripeness. Texture, sugar content, and background subacid flavor is at its perfect balance. Should be a few brown spots on the peel. Slightly bruised fruit seem to ripen quicker. I suspect ripening them "on the vine" will give you better, more complex flavors compared to harvesting them green, but on the other hand, you get a lot of bananas all ripe near the same time.

PEEL: very easy to peel, but quite thin. The brown lines on the inside of the peel are quite attractive and different looking! There are brownish "strings" that attach to the "meat," but it's not noticable when being eaten (they're very soft and not fibrous whatsoever). The "neck" or "stem" of the finger is very fragile/thin and seems to get damaged easily/crack open when the bananas turn yellow. You can't break off a finger from the hand at this point without cracking open the banana.

FLAVOR- as mentioned above, peak flavor is at about 1-3 days after the finger has turned solid yellow. You should see a few dark spots on it, and it should be slightly darker yellow. At this stage, it's sweeter than a cavendish, and has a wonderful, tangy background flavor. I can see how some can describe that aspect as being "berry-like." To me, these bananas are slightly less filling than a cavendish, and you can eat a whole lot of them, but my perspective might be skewed since the fingers were small. It has an absolutely wonderful floral aftertaste according to my wife, who is very picky about fruit and is raving about this variety. I suspect environment plays a huge role on flavor: harvesting at the right time, watering only when it's warm, using lots of organic fertilizers really brings out the flavor. I could see this variety grown in poor soil with synthetic fertilizers having less depth of flavor, much like some commercially produced cavendish bananas.

RATING (out of 10): 9/10 Outside of the amazing flavor, this factors in productivity of the plant in marginal conditions and cold tolerance of the fruit. The bunch withstood several days of frost without any issues, but it has to bloom at the right time when grown in marginal climates (ie. I lost several bunches that bloomed in November and December, but everything that bloomed during the summer survived the cold). If you time the flowering right and get them to bloom in April, I suspect these can be finished in about 6 months here in Northern California, provided normal weather. Only downside is how fragile the peels are once these bananas are fully ripe (refer to the "Peel" description above). Others might balk at the fact that this banana doesn't have its peak flavor right when it turns yellow, but hey, avocados are loved by perhaps billions of people, and similarly, they're only great at a precise stage of ripeness which takes some experience to figure out....

For people in cold climates, I recommend the "6 cane per Mat" approach: you'll end up with smaller bunches, but this increases the chance that you'll have a few bunches that bloom at the right time of year to reach maturity.

Opinion on Commercial Production:
Others report this banana isn't popular among the general public and is therefore not commercially produced, but after tasting how much better these are compared to anything I've ever bought at the store, I don't think that's the real reason. When you eat this banana before peak maturity, it doesn't taste all that great, but when eaten at the right stage, the difference in flavor is night versus day.

In addition, it appears this probably wouldn't be good for large scale commercial production because of how fragile the peel is and how hard it would be to ship. However, for the hobby grower, niche market, or even local farmer's market, this is an excellent variety and highly recommended. It's the most productive variety I have so far, with 7 bunches total produced in less than a year! Granted, they didn't all make it, but you get the point: the plant wants to fruit unlike many other varieties that just sulk in my mediocre climate for bananas. It is absolutely staying in the garden for as long as I have a garden!

Hi,

Where in northern California are you located?

Eddie
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:42 PM   #25 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: American Goldfinger FHIA 1 taste report with pics

Hi Eddie,

I'm about a 30 minute drive south of San Francisco, CA. This year, my climate has been a bit less than ideal for bananas: we had a cool spring and many weeks of cold summers followed by a few heat waves here and there. Overall, the FHIA-1 isn't thriving like it did a few years ago, but it's still producing several bunches. In fact, it produces bunch after bunch after bunch, but if the timing is off (ie. the blooms open in September thru April), those bunches don't make it to maturity. There's really a small window by which the bananas will successfully mature, and that also depends on the weather during any given year. 30 minutes south of where I am in San Jose, CA, FHIA 1 would probably be my top choice because it's warm enough there that you can probably get more bunches to mature.

Now that I've grown several varieties here for a while, I'd much rather choose pisang ceylon over FHIA-1 under these cool conditions: it still grows decently fast with marginal weather, and the flavor is arguably as good if not better! Pisang Ceylon fruits so much faster too: about 5 months from bloom to harvest. this means there's a higher chance that every bunch that forms will reach maturity and not get taken out by the cold weather. Only downside is that the pseudostems almost always fall over without propping, and they get really, really tall...FHIA 1 can also get very, very tall, but the pstems almost never fall over.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:51 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: American Goldfinger FHIA 1 taste report with pics

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Hi Eddie,

I'm about a 30 minute drive south of San Francisco, CA. This year, my climate has been a bit less than ideal for bananas: we had a cool spring and many weeks of cold summers followed by a few heat waves here and there. Overall, the FHIA-1 isn't thriving like it did a few years ago, but it's still producing several bunches. In fact, it produces bunch after bunch after bunch, but if the timing is off (ie. the blooms open in September thru April), those bunches don't make it to maturity. There's really a small window by which the bananas will successfully mature, and that also depends on the weather during any given year. 30 minutes south of where I am in San Jose, CA, FHIA 1 would probably be my top choice because it's warm enough there that you can probably get more bunches to mature.

Now that I've grown several varieties here for a while, I'd much rather choose pisang ceylon over FHIA-1 under these cool conditions: it still grows decently fast with marginal weather, and the flavor is arguably as good if not better! Pisang Ceylon fruits so much faster too: about 5 months from bloom to harvest. this means there's a higher chance that every bunch that forms will reach maturity and not get taken out by the cold weather. Only downside is that the pseudostems almost always fall over without propping, and they get really, really tall...FHIA 1 can also get very, very tall, but the pstems almost never fall over.

That is really amazing.

I am moving to Vista, California.

Do you recall if young Fhia-1 pups have wine colored markings on their leaves.

I have several varieties, I want to eventually end up with about 4.

I haven't ever tried using ceylon.

Thanks again.

Eddie Munoz
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Old 12-25-2019, 09:39 PM   #27 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: American Goldfinger FHIA 1 taste report with pics

Hey Meizzwang

I've really appreciated your posts on here about growing in N California. I live in a very similar climate in southern Australia. After growing bananas for many years now, would you say pisang Ceylon is the best performer consistently? Did you ever get that namwah to fruit that matured a bunch in 4 months?
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Old 12-13-2020, 02:39 PM   #28 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: American Goldfinger FHIA 1 taste report with pics

Thank you for beautiful photos!! So, what is the 10 out of 10 taste-wise?
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