Banana Flower

A banana flower is an edible fruit produced by several large, flow-ering plants in the Musa genus. In many tropical climates the bananas that are used for cooking are called plantains. The fruit varies in size, color, and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved, with the soft, starchy flesh covered with a rind, which may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown when ripe. The fruits grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant. Almost all modern edible bananas come from two wild species: Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.

When the plant first flowers, the inner portion of each flower is ed-ible. The dark purplish-red outer petal, called a “bract,” can be re-moved, gently cleaned and used as a serving plate. Once the bract is removed it exposes a group of long thin florets with a bright yel-low tip. Carefully remove the outer light-yellow portion to reveal a delicate inner flower that is whitish in color. The cleaned floret can be added to salads, eaten raw or added to soups and curries.