When we heard about cotton candy grapes, we thought the grocery store was playing a cruel trick on us. How could a healthy fruit taste like delicately spun sugar from the state fair? But they're totally real and we soon became obsessed. Now we've learned that mother nature has given us another delicious, dessert-flavored fruit: the ice cream banana. Once again, we're not kidding.
Though there are more than a thousand types of bananas, the Cavendish is the most prevalent variety. It's grown, imported, and eaten all around the world because they're hearty and stand up well to overseas shipping; however they aren't the fruit with the best flavor. And they're actually being ruined by a fungal disease. But another variety, the Blue Java, could dethrone the Cavendish as it earns more and more popularity for tasting exactly like vanilla ice cream.
Blue Java bananas, often simply known as ice-cream bananas, have peels with a frosted-tinge. Before they ripen, the bananas are more blueish and sea green than lime like its traditional Cavendish counterpart. Once ripe, the fruit itself is fluffy and creamy rather than overly mushy and moist. So even haters that can't stand the texture of the grocery-aisle Chiquita might actually like these bananas.
These bananas are technically considered a specialty tropical fruit, but the Blue Java is not new. The Huffington Post reports that, according to the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, they've been growing on the island since the early 1920s. And they're the direct product of banana plants mutating on their own, which results in distinct flavors from a range of varieties that also includes apple bananas (citrus-forward) and Mysore bananas (with berry notes).
Unfortunately, if you want to get your hands on the ice cream banana, you might have to do some traveling. Short of buying your own banana tree and maintaining its delicate, time-consuming care, you'll likely have better luck heading to areas where the plant flourishes: Southern Florida, parts of California and the Pacific Northwest, Fiji, the Philippines, and Central America.
We love freezing bananas and dipping them in chocolate, slicing them for peanut butter toast, and swirling them into ice cream. But now we might not have to. Nah, who are we kidding? These babies would probably make for the most amazing banana bread on the planet.
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