Fact check: Blue Java bananas are real, but this image exaggerates their color

·3 min read

The claim: An image shows Blue Java bananas that taste like vanilla ice cream

A post shared thousands of times on Facebook shows two images of bananas. But not just any bananas.

"This is Blue Java banana and it tastes like vanilla ice cream," text in the July 18 post says. "According to experts, it is primarily grown in South East Asia and is very much popular in Hawaii."

The bananas in each photo are bright blue – peels and all. But the post paints a misleading picture of the fruit.

When Blue Java bananas fully ripen they have a creamy yellow color, according to businesses that sell the fruit. While the bananas are blue-green when unripe, they are not the color pictured in the Facebook post.

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As for the purported vanilla ice cream flavor, one commenter who said they'd tried a Blue Java banana wrote: "There is a slight custard flavor so I can understand the 'vanilla' description but it's extremely subtle."

USA TODAY reached out to the user who made the post for comment.

Image doesn't show true blue color

Blue Java bananas are a real kind of fruit. They have a "silver-green" or "blue-green" color, which they get from a heavy coating of wax.

This fruit is also known as the "ice cream banana," "Ney Mannan banana" and "Blue Lubin," among others, according to the book "Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands." The flavor and texture of Blue Java bananas have been described as sweet and smooth. The bananas are a hybrid fruit originating in Southeast Asia.

Miami Fruit, a business in South Florida that harvests and sells Blue Java bananas, says the fruit isn't really bright blue, as the Facebook post makes it seem.

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"We would describe the color of Blue Java Bananas as blue-ish green when they are unripe," Edelle Schlegel, co-owner of the farm, told USA TODAY in an email. "When they are ripe, the peel will turn yellow and the flesh is white."

Schlegel said the flavor is "sweet and slightly tart like apple bananas, (and) the texture is ultra creamy." She said Blue Java bananas are called ice cream bananas because of their texture, not their flavor.

Miami Fruit says on its website that "many photos of Blue Java on the internet are photoshopped."

Our rating: Altered

Based on our research, we rate ALTERED the image that claims to show Blue Java bananas. These bananas are real, but the images posted on Facebook are not an accurate presentation of their color. Before they're fully ripe, Blue Java bananas have a light blue-green tint, but as they mature, they tend to become yellow.

Our fact-check sources:

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Blue Java bananas are not bright blue

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