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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 12-14-2009, 03:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Do "red" bananas taste good?

Saw some bananas labeled as "red" at the local supermarket. They were still hard to the touch, the tag says that they need to ripen with dark purple spots before they are edible. How different is the taste compared to, say, the plain old "Chiquita"?

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Old 12-14-2009, 03:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

I just had some I believe grown by Dole in Ecuador. They were similar to manzano in taste...kind of fruity. They were best when just the ends had a touch of yellow .
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

Thanks, I'll buy a few and try 'em out.
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Old 12-14-2009, 04:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

Yes they are sweet like custard and have a strong sweet fragrance. No acidity at all.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

I have been waiting to here a personal experience for these prior to me having any.. :^) myself.. Thanks
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

As I remember - they need to ripen to the slightly soft stage to taste at their best. Like most of the non-commercial varieties they should not be eaten before this stage!
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

Agree with Island cassie, or even better "vine ripe"
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

IMHO, Reds are better tasting than most commercially available Yellows. Sweet, creamy in flavour and texture, with hints of tropical fruit and a mild 'banana' bouquet with notes of roses. The store is advising you to eat them when they're well overripe, though - once the skin goes purple they're only really good for cooking. Plain old Chiquitas ('Gran Nain') are mealier in texture, slightly acidic, with a strong banana flavour, a strong banana and chemical bouquet, and I find them to be insipid and to have an ugly aftertaste (kind of like those artificially banana-flavoured dissolving marshmallow candies.)

Reds are best, as Bob said, when the fruit passes the ripe avocado test*, and there's still just a blush of yellow at the tips (in fact, I'm the one that told him that, lol!). And of course, even better when they're ripened on the stem. The variety that Dole uses down here, if you're interested in eventually growing your own, is 'Cuban Red' (which is the same plant as 'Jamaican Red' and a number of other red cultivars, really, including 'Pisang Raja Udang'.)

* The ripe avocado test: take the fruit in your hand and exert a gentle squishing pressure. If it is slightly yielding, it's ripe. If it's very squishy, it's time to make guacamole or banana bread.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

All these superlatives make me want to grow one. What red nannas can be grown in zone 9, usa?

Thanks
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

[quote=lorax;114530]Reds are best, as Bob said, when the fruit passes the ripe avocado test*, and there's still just a blush of yellow at the tips (in fact, I'm the one that told him that, lol!).

Yup, when I want info I go to the experts
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

WTA, you should be able to grow Jamaican Red or Dwarf Red, so long as you overwinter it indoors.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

Red bananas are said to have a higher sugar content than the yellows. jimmmy
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Want Them All View Post
All these superlatives make me want to grow one. What red nannas can be grown in zone 9, usa?

Thanks
You could try the 'Dwarf Red' (the tall form is a rather large plant), but they are more sensitive to cooler temperatures than most other common bananas, often recieving leaf damage when only in the 40s. They also tend to be slower growing and maturing than other bananas (both in the growth of the plant and fruit, even here in Hawaii sometimes). The plants themselves are nice, with lots of red coloration all over, and for the dwarf a nice stout look, but if you want to successfully grow bananas in a marginal climate, I would look to other hardier cultivars such as 'Dwarf Orinoco', 'Raja Puri', 'Dwarf Namwah' or 'Dwarf Brazilian'.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

I concur with Gabe. I have grown 'Dwarf Red' in the Houston area for the past two or three summers and, while mine has never died during the winter, even here, it certainly does look sad come spring...and it has never flowered. It is a beautiful plant, though.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe15 View Post
You could try the 'Dwarf Red' (the tall form is a rather large plant), but they are more sensitive to cooler temperatures than most other common bananas, often recieving leaf damage when only in the 40s. They also tend to be slower growing and maturing than other bananas (both in the growth of the plant and fruit, even here in Hawaii sometimes). The plants themselves are nice, with lots of red coloration all over, and for the dwarf a nice stout look, but if you want to successfully grow bananas in a marginal climate, I would look to other hardier cultivars such as 'Dwarf Orinoco', 'Raja Puri', 'Dwarf Namwah' or 'Dwarf Brazilian'.
I have a warm area set up in my garage where temps are maintained between 65 (grow light off) and 84 (grow light on, 16 hours a day). Will that work? Can dwarf red thrive in a container? Max height in the garage is 7.5 feet. Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

D.Red
# Mature Height: 6-8'
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

Quote:
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I have a warm area set up in my garage where temps are maintained between 65 (grow light off) and 84 (grow light on, 16 hours a day). Will that work? Can dwarf red thrive in a container? Max height in the garage is 7.5 feet. Thanks!
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D.Red
# Mature Height: 6-8'
You may get it to grow, but getting any bananas to fruit in a container is not easy, and 'Dwarf Red' will just be that much harder due to its slow growth and sensitivity to cooler temps (even if its not that cool, they still slow down more).

Heights of banana are (or should be) measured from the soil the top of the pseudostem, so any additional space the leaves take up is not accounted for in the height listing. A 'Dwarf Red' in the ground could easily take up 8-10ft in total height, and even though it would be smaller in a container, the height of the container can add back that height lost due to being in the container. Also, its not good to have the plants right up against the lights, they need a bit of space. With only 7.5ft, in a container and using grow lights, I would say 'Super Dwarf Cavendish' would be best for actually possibly getting fruit.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:42 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

I have Red Kru and Dwarf Red in zone 9a both are in the ground. Both red bananas are taking a lot of damage so far. Where my IC, DO, Raja Puri, D.Namwah, Praying Hands, ect No real cold damager at all.
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

I grew D.Jamaican red for a few years, but finally got rid of it due to taste/texture issues. When they are at the firmness stage that I like, the taste was not good. A few days later they become soft and creamy, and the taste becomes almost too sweet. Kind of a sickly perfume sweet, with an aftertaste that I coudn't get out of my mouth fast enough. They made great banana bread though! Tastes are very subjective, and I know other growers who love them. Took two years to produce a good size bunch of rather fat bananas, at about 7' ht. in my climate. I hope that's more helpful than confusing!
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:42 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do "red" bananas taste good?

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soft and creamy, and the taste becomes almost too sweet. Kind of a sickly perfume sweet,
Yep, the fragrance is very strong like a perfume. Not my fave but I have friends who will just about knock my door down to get some.
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