Another trip to Cotters’ Market, another banana variety – red bananas, this time, not monkey bananas, and just a hand to try, not another young plant to grow next to my sugar bananas. These red bananas are eating bananas, not cooking bananas. I had never been quite sure; I thought they might have been plantains, which are used quite differently and deserve a post to themselves some day.
They turned out to be very similar in texture and flavour to the monkey bananas, with very soft, smooth, sweet and slightly aromatic flesh. They seem to be sharing the monkey bananas’ tendency to go from under-ripe to over-ripe very quickly, but perhaps I should have started eating them earlier. They are about the same size as our sugar bananas, i.e. a bit shorter and straighter than the regular (I didn’t quite say ‘boring’) Cavendish.
The excellent Wikipedia article on them tells us that their official name is Musa acuminata (AAA Group) ‘Red Dacca’ and lists twenty or thirty ‘common’ names for them from every continent except Antarctica; I don’t think I need to reproduce them all here.