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Types of Bananas

From Apple Bananas to Williams Bananas

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If you're lucky enough to live in a banana-growing climate, your farmers market or local store may well sell a variety of bananas. Check out the range of possibilities below.

Apple Bananas (a.k.a. Candy Apple Bananas)

Image of Apple Bananas
Photo © Molly Watson

Apple bananas are exceptionally sweet, hence their other name, Candy Apple Banana. They are grown in the rainy tropical forests in Hawaii. Their flesh is firm and has a slight pinkish tone. The sweet, moist flesh is perfect for snacking or using in desserts and is particularly well suited to adding to fruit salads and other raw preparations since it doesn't brown as quickly as other banana varieties.

Cavendish Bananas

Image of Cavendish Bananas
Photo © Molly Watson

Cavendish bananas are the most common variety. They are the long yellow, slightly sweet bananas at supermarkets around the country.

Lady Finger Bananas

Image of Lady Finger Bananas
Photo © Molly Watson

Lady finger bananas are smaller and sweeter than the ubiquitous Cavendish.

Pisang Raja

Pisang Raja Bananas
Photo © Molly Watson
Pisang Raja bananas (here labeled "rajah") are popular in Indonesia, where they are often used to make banana fritters. They are also known as Musa Belle bananas.

Williams Bananas

Image of Williams Bananas
Photo © Molly Watson

Williams bananas are the same as Giant Cavendish. They are large, mild, and sweet.

Cooking Bananas

Image of Cooking Bananas
Photo © Molly Watson

Cooking bananas, like plantains, are better thought of as potatoes than as bananas. They can be roasted, steamed, fried into chips, and otherwise used like any starchy vegetable.

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