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Old 08-21-2018, 04:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Cultivar: Musa Blue Java aka Ice Cream


Location: San Francisco Bay Area (zone 9B)

Propagule: Very healthy Sword Sucker (thank you Crazybanana!) Pic of the sword sucker about a year after getting established:


Date of Acquisition: Aug(?) 2015

Date of first flower opening: Aug. 2017 (2 years from planting)



Mature bunch to the left, bunch that flowered perhaps 2 months ago to the right:



Date of maturity: August 2018 (~1 year from first flower opening, ~3 years from planting)


Height: Didn't measure, but the pstem appeared to be somewhere between 12-16' tall.

Propping needed? Definitely. These will fall over once the fruit start getting heavy.

Difficulty: pretty easy, didn't seem anymore difficult than any other banana, but does require a bit more effort to maintain.

Vigor: Decent I guess. Not crazy fast growing compared to others, but not slow growing either.

Cold tolerance: decent, but lots of leaves turned brown, even though we didn't have any hard frost. Dwarf Brazilian and Rajapuri seem to be more cold hardy, but they may have just been more protected due to their shorter height....

Other: Seems to have taken forever for the fruit to mature! Sets a good amount of suckers, but not as many as say American Goldfinger. Others have mentioned to not remove suckers while fruit are forming, as this can stun the plant and mess up fruit production. Plus, the P-stems will probably fall. It's probably wise to follow that advice.


Surprisingly, I haven't been able to find an in depth, honest taste report for the real deal Ice cream AKA blue Java, so here's a new thread! Feel free to post pictures and your opinion as well!

There's so much junk on the internet, mainly set up by online stores trying to pass off tissue cultured Namwah as the real deal Ice Cream (with great success unfortunately). Some stores, such as Florida Hill Nursery, even show Namwah as the photo of their Ice Cream! Unbelievable.

I also remember reading claims that "it tastes just like Ice Cream" and something to the extent that you can eat it with a spoon because the texture is like Ice Cream. Some fingers have just turned completely yellow, and I tried them:


At this stage, there's very little sweetness, and shockingly, it's quite TART! When you smell the un-peeled fruit, it has zero aroma at this stage (I have 20/20 smell, if that exists). I had no idea this banana has so much acid to it, what a pleasant surprise! I actually enjoyed it at this stage, but my wife spit it out in disgust. My guess: You either love this one or hate it. We'll see what the real deal Ice Cream tastes like when it's at peak ripeness. I suspect the peel might need to almost turn brown before you get enough sweetness to balance and mellow out the acidity.

TO BE CONTINUED.........

Last edited by meizzwang : 08-22-2018 at 04:33 PM. Reason: added a pic&comment
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

I can't speak for this one but others in this group seem to not be truly ripe at yellow. Gotta wait a day or two.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

I've bought two Blue Java's from two sources with no blue glaucid? colouring. All plain green / yellow.
Waiting on a third sourced Blue Java to fruit.

I've found the blacker the skin the nicer they become, to a certain extent.
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Last edited by jmc96 : 08-21-2018 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmc96 View Post
I've bought two Blue Java's from two sources with no blue glaucid? colouring. All plain green / yellow. ...
Not True Ice Cream / Blue Java.
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Old 08-22-2018, 07:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Its very interesting that the "ice cream" banana got this reputation for being so crazy awesome. It taste like Ice cream!
When in fact it is a banana that is far from the best, and is not the most productive or easy.

NOW HERE IS THE TRUTH!
The nam wah is THE TURE ICE CREAM! People just made the mistake of thinking the blue java is a nam wah.
Problem solved!

But in seriousness; if you want a good tasting, fast fruiting(ripening) banana that is care free, and More COLD TOLERANT than a blue java... You want a good Nam wah variety.
Its nothing to get a nam wah to fruit in a year, they don't need support either.

The only thing with the Nam wah is that there are quite a few mutations around. With all the tissue culturing you do have a few subpar ones getting passed around; small bunches, low vigor.....
But if you find someone with a good line you should not pass on a sucker.
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Great pictures.. why don't you add those and the notations to the Blue Java in the forum wiki. Also, state the grow location.
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Old 08-22-2018, 03:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

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Originally Posted by edwmax View Post
Great pictures.. why don't you add those and the notations to the Blue Java in the forum wiki. Also, state the grow location.
Thanks for the suggestion! I added some pics!

Last edited by meizzwang : 08-22-2018 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaT View Post
Its very interesting that the "ice cream" banana got this reputation for being so crazy awesome. It taste like Ice cream!
When in fact it is a banana that is far from the best, and is not the most productive or easy. NOW HERE IS THE TRUTH!
The nam wah is THE TURE ICE CREAM! People just made the mistake of thinking the blue java is a nam wah.
Problem solved!
I think you hit the nail on the head on this one! Online stores have convinced the general public that Namwah is Ice Cream. When grown well, I love Namwah!

The real deal Ice Cream is absolutely beautiful and before the fingers turn yellow, everyone (including myself) is amazed by the blue hue to the skin. For ornamental purposes alone, I'm keeping it.
But when it comes to actually eating the banana, I'm very suspicious of this being good quality compared to other varieties. So far, when I peel this banana, it's very stringy, and the "string" isn't really palatable, you don't want to eat it:


When it gets even more ripe, more of the peel sticks to the pulp, which is a PITA to remove. However, the flesh is really, really beautiful! Maybe there's a lot of visual deception going on here! I still haven't tasted it at peak ripeness, so I'll hold off further comments, but it's still tangy with very little sugar content a day after it turns yellow:

Last edited by meizzwang : 08-22-2018 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaT View Post
Its nothing to get a nam wah to fruit in a year, they don't need support either.
It takes 14 to 18 months in Southern California.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaT View Post
if you want a good tasting, fast fruiting(ripening) banana that is care free, and More COLD TOLERANT than a blue java... You want a good Nam wah variety.
I agree.
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Old 08-22-2018, 05:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Maybe if my Pisang Abu Perak has tasty fruit it can replace the Blue Java.
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Thanks for the write-up!
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Old 08-23-2018, 12:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Not True Ice Cream / Blue Java.
I thought I read somewhere that there is a blue free Blue Java?
Otherwise what might the cultivar be? Quite tall, very loose crumbly peel, light in weight with an odd, bulky shape.

There's a name that describes the blue colouring? something like glaucid???
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Old 08-23-2018, 01:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Quote:
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I thought I read somewhere that there is a blue free Blue Java?
LOL!

From someone either trying to promote sales of their Namwa or justify their purchase of a Namwa!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmc96 View Post
Otherwise what might the cultivar be?
Whatever the seller had handy for novice buyers!

This is what the fruit of the true Blue Java / Ice Cream looks like (thanks to meizzwang):

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Old 08-23-2018, 01:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmc96 View Post
I thought I read somewhere that there is a blue free Blue Java?
Otherwise what might the cultivar be? Quite tall, very loose crumbly peel, light in weight with an odd, bulky shape.

There's a name that describes the blue colouring? something like glaucid???
The word is glaucous. Cactus people commonly use that word for that description of blue, gray, or powdery giving the impression of blue or gray.
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Old 08-23-2018, 05:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
LOL!

From someone either trying to promote sales of their Namwa or justify their purchase of a Namwa!



Whatever the seller had handy for novice buyers!

This is what the fruit of the true Blue Java / Ice Cream looks like (thanks to meizzwang):

Many thanks. So my description above fits a Namwa?
My first BJ supplier was from one of the most reputable TC propagators in Australia as far as I can tell. I queried them a couple of times with no satisfactory answers.
My second supplier was a freebie from a backyarder that guaranteed it was a blue Java.
My third supplier is from another commercial nursery complete with label. Perhaps lucky third time around. Hope it will fruit this year.
Also, will they retain that blue colour while developing a bunch cover?

Cheers!
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Old 08-23-2018, 01:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

To would be blue java/Ice Cream buyers:
1) the real deal isn't in tissue culture in the US. Your best bet is to get the real plant from reputable forum members here on bananas.org
2) Agristarts, the alleged source of all fake TC'ed ice cream being sold in the US, is knowingly mis-representing namwah as the real deal blue java/Ice Cream. Perhaps the lie has gone on for so long that the general public has accepted Namwah as blue java.
3) The real deal blue java aka Ice Cream is surprisingly rare.
4) TC sellers get away with selling fake Ice Cream because it takes years for you to find out. If you end up with Namwah, consider yourself lucky! As Richard mentioned, online vendors marketing "ice cream" as TC'ed plants often times just send you any variety that looks really good at the time of your order. Speaking from experience, Buy at your own risk!

ICE CREAM BLUE JAVA TASTE REPORT



TEXTURE- creamy, soft, very light and fluffy

FIRMNESS – Ice Cream is only slightly more dense than eating whipped cream right out of the can! The pulp is extremely fragile at peak ripeness and bruises very easily.

SWEETNESS- Compared to other banana varieties, it's not very sweet, even at peak ripeness.

TARTNESS- Very tart, even when at peak ripeness. I personally like tart bananas, but I can see how many would think the tartness of blue java overpowers the low sugar content. In my opinion, there just isn't enough perceived sweetness to balance the tartness, but I can see how some people might like that.

RIPENESS- Right when the peel turns yellow, the acidity dominates the flavor. It's not bitter or so sour that it hurts your teeth or makes your you know what pucker, it's a much different experience that's difficult to explain in words. Peak ripeness under my conditions was about 3 days after they turned yellow. There should be some browning or black spots on the peel, but if you wait too long after that, the texture gets mushy.

PEEL:Right when the fingers turn yellow (right when very little sweetness can be detected), the peel comes off pretty easily. The "neck" of the peel is very sturdy: no need to worry about the fingers breaking off the bunch, even when at peak ripeness. However, the inside of the peel breaks down at peak ripeness, and slightly rough textured, unpleasant fibers stick to the pulp, making peeling a tedious task. Should have some brown or black spots on it at peak ripeness.

FLAVOR- TART! to me, it was a bland tartness: just acid and not much perceivable depth of flavor like you get in American Goldfinger, I can't say I noticed any hints of berry, citrus, or anything. People who claim this banana tastes like Ice Cream are full of it, NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!! I can see how the light, fluffy, slightly more dense than whipped cream texture may have inspired the name of this cultivar, but other than that, there's nothing else about its flavor that resembles the flavor of ice cream.

RATING (out of 10): 7.0/10 That's a C- even from someone who enjoys tart bananas. Yes, just enough to pass and keep in the collection, but barely. I love the ornamental value of this banana, and growing it was exciting the whole way through. But when it comes to the flavor department, I'm not looking forward to harvesting the next 2 bunches that are hanging. I'm not a fan of cavendish, but after I ate Ice Cream, I took a few bites of some well grown organic cavendish, and I'd eat that any day over Ice Cream. However, if there's no other banana available, I'll go for Ice Cream without complaints.
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Mike,


Woohoo!.....Thank you for the awesome taste report!......


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Old 08-23-2018, 02:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Thank for post! Newbee here. Well I guess I have alot to lean, have brought my first 3 naner plants. Ice cream, ladyfinger and a gross Michel. Dilerved July 2nd and all are growing good in pots. So this came from states so I guess this is not a true ice cream but plant still looks nice for first try.hope this post is in right place only my first. Thanks to all !!!
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

thanks Hector Wcsixty7, and everyone else for checking out this thread!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Botanical_Bryce View Post
The word is glaucous. Cactus people commonly use that word for that description of blue, gray, or powdery giving the impression of blue or gray.
Great input, thank you Botanical_Bryce! This reminds me: with some succulents, you can wipe off the powder, which alters the color or perceived color of the leaves/stem. With Musa Ice Cream, it's not powdery, and you can't wipe off that blue color! I tried to with no luck LOL
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:41 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Ice Cream Blue Java grow and taste report

Quote:
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Many thanks. So my description above fits a Namwa?
My first BJ supplier was from one of the most reputable TC propagators in Australia as far as I can tell. I queried them a couple of times with no satisfactory answers.
My second supplier was a freebie from a backyarder that guaranteed it was a blue Java.
My third supplier is from another commercial nursery complete with label. Perhaps lucky third time around. Hope it will fruit this year.
Also, will they retain that blue colour while developing a bunch cover?

Cheers!
Don't have all the answers to your questions, but I can help with a few:
1)Rob on this forum mentioned in another thread a good way to distinguish dwarf namwah from Blue Java/Ice Cream: Dwarf Namwah will rarely need propping when fruiting. Blue Java tends to lean and could fall over if not properly supported when producing a heavy bunch. There's always exceptions to the rule: I have a rajapuri which is famous for almost never needing propping, but if I didn't prop mine, it would have fallen over a long time ago.
2) With pictures of the flowering bunch, lots of people on this forum can verify what you got. If you need help posting pics, PM me, I can help! Keep the male flower in tact just in case, don't cut it off.
3) The fingers will maintain that blue hue from the first day the flower opens (well, maybe a few days after) until they turn yellow.
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