Blue Java Banana: The Banana That Tastes Just Like Vanilla Ice Cream

This isn't some sort of photo-shopping trick or something from a Dr. Suess book. Blue bananas actually exist in the wild and they taste just like vanilla ice cream. Called Blue Java bananas, Ice Cream bananas, Hawaiian bananas, or Ney Mannan, this fruit is hardy, cold-tolerant, and is said to be the same consistency as ice cream. And on top of that, it tastes like sweet vanilla custard.

Unlike the normal bananas you can buy in the store (called Cavendish bananas), the blue java boasts a silvery blue peel when ripened. Hard to compare to the pale yellow we normally associate with a typical banana! The banana variety originated in Southeast Asia, then spread to Hawaii, Fiji, the Philippines, and Central America as reported by Live Love Fruit. However, finding these blue-green bananas in the United States is easier said than done.

Where to Find Blue Java Bananas

While you can book a trip to Hawaii or Fiji to grab one of these bananas straight from the tree, it's totally possible to buy a bushel of this fruit online when they are in season. One purveyor, Miami Fruit, sells a variety of tropical fruits including jackfruit, durian, mangosteen, and blue java bananas. Pre-order a 10-13 pound shipment for the 2020 season.

More of a hands-on person? Try growing your own banana tree. Unlike most tropical fruits, the blue java banana plant can thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 8-10, making California, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and South Carolina prime places to plant.

And don't worry about waiting years for these plants to start to produce fruit. According to NovoTaste, it's possible to for trees to produce fruit within 9 months, making it only a short wait to enjoy homegrown bananas. When fully grown the banana tree will stand 15 to 20 feet in height and require a lot of watering and fertilizing. 

How To Eat It

Given the cost of the fruit (that is if you don't grow it yourself) we recommend eating these sweet nanas plain, letting you completely enjoy the flavor and texture. However, if you find yourself with a whole stockpile of bananas, they go great in smoothies, as a topping for ice cream, or even dipped in chocolate and frozen. You could even make "nice-cream" out of it by freezing the banana then blending it in a food processor for a few seconds. However you enjoy it, make sure to save a few bananas to share with friends.

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