Do you know your banana cultivars?

There are many banana cultivars grown in the Philippines and whenever we encounter bananas in the marketplace, we always keep on asking what banana cultivar we are buying. It is time for us to learn more about the bananas we commonly find in the market so we can distinguish one from the other.

'CAVENDISH'


This is the usual banana for export. This banana cultivar is widely grown in Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia and constitute the bulk of dessert bananas on the shelves of Western supermarkets. The fruit has a greenish-yellow peel when ripen under normal temperature. The pulp is white to cream, soft, fine-textured, and sweet.

'LAKATAN'

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The 'Lakatan' cultivar is the typical bananas we found in the market for dessert. It has an attractive golden yellow color when ripe. The skin can be removed easily with some rags sticking to the pulp, revealing a light orange to orange pulp. The cultivar has a very aromatic and excellent flavor. Fruit size ranges from 10 to 20 cm in length.


'LATUNDAN'

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This cultivar has a small to medium-size (10-15 cm in length) fruit, usually smaller than the 'Lakatan'. It is also common in the market and even in small fruit stands and store. The fruit is sweet with a mild sub-acid taste, fine texture and a delicious pleasant flavor. The fruit has also a yellow peel when ripe but its white pulp color distinguishes it from 'Lakatan' (light orange pulp).


'BUNGULAN'

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The cultivar has a distinctly light green to greenish-yellow fruit peel when ripe. The pulp is white to cream, soft, fine-textured and sweet. Its fruit is about 15 to 25 cm in length with a diameter ranging from 2 to 2.5 cm and usually smaller than the 'Cavendish' variety.


'SABA'

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If you like banana chips, then you should be familiar with this cultivar which is the one usually used to prepare this crunchy snack. 'Saba' is the cultivar used for cooking. The fruit is large and angular even when ripe. It has a white pulp which is sweet when ripe although very starchy. 'Banana cue' everyone?


source: The Philippine Recommends for Banana (PCARRD Technical Bulletin 65)
photos from primer.ph and alibaba.com

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