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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 09-06-2015, 09:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Chini Champa first bunch

Harvested my first bunch of Chini Champa. And the taste is fantastic. They also taste unlike any others I've tried.

Bunch back in June ------



Bunch ripening in house

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Old 09-06-2015, 09:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

WOW! Great to know!
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Old 09-06-2015, 10:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

Would love to hear more!!
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

The CC that you brought over a month ago were, I agree, very nice. I'm sure they were severed from the bunch probably a little earlier than would be ideal. I waited about a week to eat the ones that I didn't give to friends that same day. The fruit's texture was what I found most noteworthy: the flesh seemed to adhere or suction onto my lips as I cleaved it from the finger. It was reminiscent of the good mouth-feeling that well-grown okra provides when eaten green. It definitely gives one the impression of its having a high water or oil content, if that makes any sense. I'd probably call it texturally opposite your typical grocery store Cavendish, as fluffiness was essentially absent from the presentation. As the flavor neared the back of my throat, it had a hint of the vegetal taste that is so noteworthy to robguz in categorizing banana flavor. I'd love to eat a couple of hands of these fruit to get a better sense of their qualities. Thank you, Dan, for the treats. (The avocado was wonderfully easy to peel, and although it was not particularly flavorful, I loved it, too!)

N.
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

Did it taste like a Mysore.
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Old 09-06-2015, 08:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

Thanks to all, sounds like a winner.
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

Keith,

Its having been about a year since I last tasted a Mysore--and that having been my very first time tasting a Mysore--I can't make a fair comparison. From memory, though, I'd say that the fruit that Dan has labeled as Chini-Champa is fatter, more angulated, and not nearly as sweet. It doesn't have the acidic component that some people--myself included--find so alluring about Mysore. So I'm pretty sure it's a different fruit entirely. As to whether it is an AB, as a Chini-Champa is supposed to be, I'm not sure of that, either. Dan was very thorough in explaining how he came into the corm for this plant, but my account of the story would be just a butchered paraphrasing.

If I'm remembering correctly, Dan's CC is separated from his Pisang Ceylon by only one mat. Perhaps with a wide-angle it is possible with some winter pruning to get a set of pictures that encompass both plants and their p-stem and petiole characteristics. As long as he's happy with the fruit quality, though, I'm not sure that it matters what it is. (The fruit was much-appreciated here, whatever the case. ) But back-in-the-day, when legends walked the forum, the general consensus seemed to be that the only willing source out of India with a phyto certificate was Ganesh Mani Pradhan & Son The Nursery . Who knows!

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Old 09-06-2015, 10:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

Nathaniel,
Read page 14.

Commercial varieties of fruits - Government of India
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Old 09-06-2015, 10:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

According to Gabe, Chini-Champa is synonymous with Ney Poovan rather than Poovan: Ney Poovan info wanted (whatever value terms such as "Ney Poovan" and "Poovan" even carry, which is probably little). Which source to believe? Picture clarification from the Gabemeister would obviously be pretty helpful, but that ain't happenin'. ;-)

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Old 09-06-2015, 10:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

Cute...


Compiled and edited by
Dr. Gorakh Singh
Horticulture Commissioner

National Research Centre for Banana, Tiruchirapalli

Government of India
Ministry of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture and Cooperation

"Also known as Mysore, Alpan, Champa, Chini
Champa, Dora Vazhal, Karpura Chakrakeli
and Palayankodan. It is distinguished from
other cultivars by its pink pigmentation on the
ventral side of the midrib of young leaves. Under
optimum crop management conditions, it bears
heavy bunches weighing 20-24 kg each having
150 to 300 fingers."
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

I don't know that I would characterize anything about what I shared as "cute," but cool, Keith. I think the older post still bears some credibility within the broader context of the disambiguation of common names of Indian bananas, among them "Safet Velchi," "Ney Poovan," what have you--which are certainly different not just in name but in kind from Mysore--different enough, certainly, that the guide that you linked lists them as such. How certain people have come to conflate Chini Champa with Safet Velchi, as they very obviously did at one point in the history of this potentially-broken little site, I can't say. There is always a broader context than that which we know. I still don't think that what Dan is calling Chini Champa is Mysore, but I'll have to concede the issue to you.

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Old 09-07-2015, 07:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanfenton View Post
Which source to believe?
It's 'cute' to imply the sources are somehow equal.

On one side you have...

a banana that originated in India

it's been grown for thousands of years in India

it's the most popular banana in India

it's been studied by thousands of banana scientists in India

there's mountains of documents about this banana in India

OK....maybe the entire country is wrong, but it's their banana and that's what they've named it.


Maybe Dan's growing 'Gabe's Gumby'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas Naranja View Post
I don't think it is the same Chini Champa, I have one from Dan and it is definitely a type of P. Awak.

Thinking about it...I wonder if Pisang Klotek and Chini Champa got mixed up somewhere along the line.
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Great question Brent! Very simple, but for the fun of learning I'll make it a complex answer (or it may seem simple to people...read on and find out!). Also I'm working on a "composition"....if you will....that will make use of these long thought out answers from my head, so its actually productive for me to write these down.

If you don't want to dive into the swamp world of bananas, skip to the bottom!

The key here is get a grasp of the immense diversity of bananas and how it is organized, and then to accept that you will not know about all of them. For every variety common to hobby growers, there are countless other closely related varieties that form what banana scientists refer to as the "subgroup". Sometimes, ID'ing past the subgroup is difficult or impossible, because often the same exact clones are present in different areas with different names, or were originally the same, but new mutations have been selected off of it. DNA analysis can help, but depending on many things, it does not inherently see the whole picture, and there are certainly things that it cannot pick up on right now. In short, there exists cases of the same plant with different names, and different plants with the same name. There is no way to officially designate a single name to a specific clone, because this would 1.) require way more time and resources than anyone has and 2.) be nearly impossible for people in one region to change the names of their local cultivars because some scientist said they should.

The solution is that bananas are grouped together into more or less structured subgroups which theoretically contain only cultivars which are all mutations from a single original cultivar (though in practice this is not fully realized yet). If you can ID a banana to the subgroup, that is excellent. You can know a lot about the genetics and general characteristics of the plant you have. For banana breeders (and some botanic gardens) who maintain large collections covering a huge amount of diversity, the original name of the plant as it was acquired is kept and used, along with the subgroup and some other institutional code to indicate that exact accession. You may grow out two plants which are supposed to be the same and they turn out slightly or very different, or you may grow out two plants that are supposed to be different and they look the same, but one may have some unique trait lacking in the other. Instead of making up new names right away, the only practical way to keep them ordered is to just know all you can about your plants. Then, if you see enough other plants that look the same as yours, or enough plants with the same name that are clearly different, then its probably safe to be able to switch the names with little consequence.

For example (this is a real case): I have a plant which was acquired as an AB 'Ney Poovan' but flow cytometry says is an AAB. Safet Velchi (aka Ney Poovan) is a very well known subgroup, and it is known that this subgroup is AB. I have another plant, 'Kunnan', which is supposed to be in the Ney Poovan subgroup, and it is indeed an AB and matches up well with other accounts of Ney Poovan varieties. My 'Kunnan' and my 'Ney Poovan' looking nothing alike, but I trust Ney Poovan cultivars should be like my 'Kunnan'. My 'Ney Poovan' I notice, actually looks exactly like every Pisang Awak (aka Namwah) banana I have seen, but with some unique traits that I have not observed in other Pisang Awak. However, the flow cytometry says its an AAB, whereas Namwah are well documented ABB. There's a bit of a problem here you see, I have a plant which I now am certain is not a Ney Poovan, looks like a Pisang Awak, but DNA says is something else. I threw out the possibility that it is an AB or Safet Velchi subgroup member, I have 3 points against that (flow cytometry, a 2 references of known cultivars), and I've seen enough verified Pisang Awak to feel comfortable in placing it within that group even though the flow cytometry says otherwise (which could be due to a number of things), but I'm still stuck with the 'Ney Poovan' name. I traced this plant back to where it came from, and found out that there was some mixup or mistake when it was collected, and they don't even know what it is. This plant though, unlike other Pisang Awak I've had, has a uniquely textured fruit which is very rubbery, so I am also sure that it is not the same clone as other known Pisang Awak varieties I have worked with. What did I do after all of this work? I renamed it thanks to the help of members here! I'm now calling it 'Gumby Awak' for my personal use. If I gave it for use in future project, I would let them know all of the info I know about it, including the original name, but let them know it is wrong and misleading.

As you can see, these cases can get quite sticky and complex, and thats even with plants that I had some decent reliable background information on. Imagine going through this with plants you know very little, or nothing about. Its going to be difficult and most likely not completely resolved.

This is inherent to working with biological systems and the endless and imperfect strive to order them in a manner convenient to us. It is possible to make some systematic order to it (in the case of bananas, this is the subgroup system), but we must always remember that plants are dynamic and taxonomy strives to be static, and when these two systems meet, there will always be complexity, confusion and loose ends. There is no definitive database of all known banana varieties with every detail about them and how to ID them, some are trying to create that, and it can be a very useful resource, but it will always fall short of what's actually out there because there is simply so much diversity.

For the banana grower, we need to make sure we keep notes on our plants, where they came from and anything else known about it when it is acquired, and pay close attention to how they grow and develop, and most importantly, to compare them to other varieties so we can see the differences and similarities for ourselves. If its a plant worth keeping and you know why, then thats great, and if its not worth keeping and you know why, then thats great too, and thats really all that matters much in the end.



Male flowers can help, but only to certain a extent, and they are not necessarily more distinguishing than any other part of the plant. For phenotypic IDing, the whole plant needs to be considered, including its growth habit.




Everyone who I have talked to from Samoa made it clear that the 'Misi Luki' there is a Mysore. There may be another variety there that is also called 'Misi Luki' or a 'Misi Luki'-like name, but thats why I was curious about what your source is so I can better track down what plant they are referring to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe15 View Post
With a busy schedule during the school semester, I don't often get the chance to upload and share photos with everyone.

I'm gone from Hawaii for the summer, and the photos below are from this past year on the student farm I help to run. Almost all of the plants pictured were planted last March (2009), with a few exceptions which were planted about 6 months earlier ('Pisang Jari Buaya' and 'Pama'). I selected each variety based on uniqueness and potential for being useful to the farm. I planted a wide diversity initially with the knowledge that they will be slowly thinned out to the few varieties that make it. So far, we have lost a few to banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) and removed one due to poor performance. There are a few clear standouts though, and those we will plant more of while continuing to experiment with new varieties. So far, there about 40 varieties in the ground on the farm, with another 10 or so ready to go when the next spot opens up.

I have organized them in this thread so that somewhat closely related varieties appear together.

AA Genome

Pama:
A very small, very slow growing diploid of Papua New Guinea. As far as fruit goes, for us it made a very small bunch, of very small fruit that ripen with yellow skin and orange flesh which are most palatable when cooked. I wouldn't keep it for its fruit, but it has some potential as an ornamental of sorts due to its extremely inhibited suckering habit, slow growth, interesting form and bold red color.



Pisang Jari Buaya:
The 'Crocodile Fingers' and 'Monkey Fingers' of common hobby trade, this interesting diploid has fruited twice so far. I was unable to try any fruit from the first bunch, but the second one just started a few weeks, perfect timing for harvest when I return to Hawaii after the summer.



Muraru Mshale:
This African diploid produces relatively large bunches, of 8-10in fruits with an intensely thick and aromatic pulp. Flavor and texture-wise, it is very reminiscent to me of the famed 'Gros Michel' bananas, though perhaps even more flavorful with an even firmer texture to it. Its brother 'Muraru Mulalu' is likely similar, though as of yet I've only sampled the Mshale.




Muraru Mulalu:




AB Genome

Kunnan:
This diploid from India is a small, slender plant with good fruit. Nothing special flavor-wise, its good eating but nothing stands out. I would like to use it in breeding, but Banana Bunchy Top Virus may get to it before I do at this point.



AAA Genome

Cocos:
Though I have planted two different accessions of "normal" 'Gros Michel', I also have planted two dwarf forms. This one, 'Cocos', grows only to about 8-9ft rather than the 15-20ft 'Gros Michel'. Though a shorter plant, the bunch and fruit size remain uncompromised, yielding a large bunch of excellent fruit.



Inyoya:
One of a few East African Highland bananas that I planted. In East Africa, these are generally regarded as cooking bananas, though I have found they also make excellent dessert bananas. This types are often, very wide and round with a moist and tangy pulp. I had tried some before that I didn't grow, and was really looking forward to harvesting this bunch, but a band of thieves came in and cut bunch a good 2-3 months premature. Luckily its been fairly vigorous and a bunch or two should be hanging upon my return.



AAB Genome

Exera:
If you've ever been to Hawaii, you've probably had the local 'Apple' bananas. Those are in fact what is called 'Brazilian' and 'Dwarf Brazilian' on the mainland. This cultivar is of the same subgroup, Pome (sometimes also called Prata). I have not had the fruit yet, but would guess it to be sweet and slightly acidic like other members of the subgroup.



Kifutu:
This Pome banana from Africa is interesting in that it almost tastes like a mix between common Pome types and a Cavendish. Less acidic with more of the classic banana aromatic component. A relatively quick, grower, this plant took less than 10 months to fruit the first time.



Kingala:
One of three Silk subgroup bananas we have grown. The common Silk banana of the US is 'Manzano', and this is similar. Some Silks seem to have problems here, often being difficult to predict ripening because the fruit will be full bright yellow, fingers falling off the hand, skins splitting, and still being chalky and under-ripe. I'm hoping to find a Silk that behaves in a decent manner in this regard.



"Igisihira":
This was supposed to be another East African Highland, but its obviously a mislabeled Silk. I'm not sure where the mixup occurred, it could potentially be another Kingala like above, but I'm still growing it out to find out how it acts.


Ungoye Sweet:
This short Silk type, although being one of the fastest growers (8 months from planting to shooting), had consistently been a poorly ripening plant. The fruit was dry and pithy with a persistent astringency. Perhaps this could be corrected by leaving the bunch on longer, but then the risk of animals getting to it as it ripens dramatically increases among other issues. I figure I already have two other Silk types, and if this one was going to be so tricky to produce a quality fruit, then it's not worth keeping. We took it out and replaced it with the dwarf Gros Michel cultivar 'Highgate'.


Auko:
An interesting plant from Papua New Guinea, ideal for cooking. Its likely very closely related to 'Vunapope' (below). These plants are strange in that looking at them, they are very reminiscent of wild M. balbisiana, but with edible fruit. Flow cytometry has determined them to AAB, an interesting result given its strong resemblance to ABB types. In any case, I like these bananas for their drought tolerance and vigor. They are short, fat and starchy, thus lending themselves wonderfully to making tostones from a single fruit.




Vunapope:



Kluai Roi Wi:
This is the Thai name for what we commonly know as '1000 Fingers' or 'Pisang Seribu'. My bunch didn't make it past about 2-3ft of female fruits before reverting back to male flowers. The pups are cut because the plant is infected with BBTV and I didn't want it to be an active host site for the aphids which transmit the virus. This plant has since been removed and replaced with an 'Orinoco'. I originally planted it to show off banana diversity, fruit-wise I don't think its worth growing due to its extremely small fruit (1-2in) and difficult to deal with bunch.



ABB Genome

Kayinja:
This Pisang Awak subgroup member from East Africa is currently a popular replacement for the traditional beer-brewing cultivars there. We use it as a dessert banana, being practically identical to the common 'Namwah'. It is extremely vigorous and I plan on planting more. One drawback is the occasional presence of pithy fruit, I've only had this happen once from a different plant, but ours seem to be coming out fine so far.




false 'Ney Poovan':
I don't know the true name of this plant, it was acquired as 'Ney Poovan' (a diploid AB, like 'Kunnan' above), but it is obviously some type of Pisang Awak. It is smaller than 'Kayinja' with a few slight floral differences. The biggest difference in fruit is that this plant actually has fruit with an interesting rubbery texture. They are crisp and bite off easily, but if you try to break off a piece for a friend to try, you end up just bending it into a U. We haven't sold any yet, but when we do I'm think of calling it the "Gummy Awak". Any other suggestions?




AAAB Genome

Goldfinger:
The famous FHIA-1 has been a fun plant to watch grow. I planted two plants on the same day, they flowered within a few days of each other and produced one of the larger female buds I've seen, certainly the largest on the farm. The fruit is looking good so far, I think I'll miss these bunches but they should be fruiting again before too long.

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Old 09-07-2015, 11:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

I don't know what to tell you, Keith; I'm not looking to pick a fight with you or with anyone. We had discussed this briefly over the phone during our epic phone conversation last week: I often don't know how to interpret the tenor of your writing, either. Your style and word choice can seem unnecessarily combative, and I know that you don't want to be perceived that way. If nothing else is apparent in one's participation in this Internet forum, it is that common names such as Chini Champa can and will be applied loosely within the regions from which bananas are ultimately derived, and then that loose nomenclature will be promulgated by the uneducated masses of which I am firmly a part. I'm sorry. We just don't know any better.

N.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

So, Dan--tangent aside--what was the scoop about how you got the CC? I've looked at a few of your older posts regarding the plant and haven't unearthed any discussions about your acquiring it through the board. Now that you've gotten a fuller and more representative bunch of fruit from the plant, what stands out to you about its growth habit and the qualities of the fruit? Did you get any close-ups of the inflorescence before you cut the male bud? Does anything about the plant bear any similarity to you to your Pisang Ceylon?

Shout-out to forum member Richard: Did you ever receive any more definitive clarification on the issues that you presented in this post from 2008: Safet Velchi vs. Chini Champa and synonyms ?

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Old 09-11-2015, 09:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

Thanks for your kind words.

When I first heard Dan's epic stories of the Chini Champa, I pull up some research papers that stated it was a very popular AAB Mysore that originated in India.

Later I heard Dan's epic stories of the Pisang Klotec and it's journey from a Sri Lanka tissue culture lab to the United States of America but couldn't find any research paper about it.

I'm a simple farmer so I simply contacted some banana research scientists and tissue culture labs in Sri Lanka to learn more about this epic banana.

If you are truly interested in the epic Chini Champa, I would recommend starting by researching blogs & message boards. Then if needed contact some banana research scientists and tissue culture labs in India.

A great thing about banana scientists is that they are thrilled to have their work acknowledge and love to talk bananas with anybody bananas about bananas.

I'm always impressed with the tenor, style, and word choice of your writings and grateful of the time and effort you put into your posts as evidenced by the quality of its content!

In vitro Regeneration Protocol for Anupam and Chini Champa: Two Banana (Musa sapientum) Cultivars of Bangladesh - ResearchGate

Musa Genomics: Members

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I don't know what to tell you, Keith; I'm not looking to pick a fight with you or with anyone. We had discussed this briefly over the phone during our epic phone conversation last week: I often don't know how to interpret the tenor of your writing, either. Your style and word choice can seem unnecessarily combative, and I know that you don't want to be perceived that way. If nothing else is apparent in one's participation in this Internet forum, it is that common names such as Chini Champa can and will be applied loosely within the regions from which bananas are ultimately derived, and then that loose nomenclature will be promulgated by the uneducated masses of which I am firmly a part. I'm sorry. We just don't know any better.

N.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

N & PRG
Thank you for the repartee!
Very informative insights
and threads resurrected that
I havent read before.

I need to read the thread slowly and completely
but are we saying that
Chini Champa and Pklotek are the same?

Thank you!
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

I am growing a Chini Champa. It does not resemble the pictures that Dan posted of his Chini Champa fruit. It most closely resembles and tastes simular to the Mysore I grew years ago. I don't grow Mysore anymore so an actual taste test for me is impossible. I believe they are different plants but when asked to describe what a Chini tastes like, I have to say simular to a Mysore.
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Old 02-20-2017, 04:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NANAMAN View Post
I am growing a Chini Champa. It does not resemble the pictures that Dan posted of his Chini Champa fruit. It most closely resembles and tastes simular to the Mysore I grew years ago. I don't grow Mysore anymore so an actual taste test for me is impossible. I believe they are different plants but when asked to describe what a Chini tastes like, I have to say simular to a Mysore.
thank you for a very interesting post.
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:07 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Chini Champa first bunch

Quote:
Originally Posted by NANAMAN View Post
I am growing a Chini Champa. It does not resemble the pictures that Dan posted of his Chini Champa fruit. It most closely resembles and tastes simular to the Mysore I grew years ago. I don't grow Mysore anymore so an actual taste test for me is impossible. I believe they are different plants but when asked to describe what a Chini tastes like, I have to say simular to a Mysore.
I grew a couple many moons ago and its taste to me resembled -manzano/mysore mix like Nanaman implied. He has the real deal,directly imported from hills and mountain valleys of India.

Great banana variety....one of the best.
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Old 02-22-2017, 05:58 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Greenie View Post
I grew a couple many moons ago and its taste to me resembled -manzano/mysore mix like Nanaman implied. He has the real deal,directly imported from hills and mountain valleys of India.

Great banana variety....one of the best.

Greenie,


Has been a while since your last post on the forum!....Nice to hear from you again!....Do you still growing some 'nanas?......
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