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Are Wild Bananas Edible ? What Do They Taste Like ?

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Have you ever seen a wild banana ? It’s nothing like our everyday, supermarket banana. They come in different shapes and sizes and colors, and grow all over the place.

You’re most likely to find wild bananas in tropical zones, so if you’re visiting somewhere tropical you might find them.

But can you eat wild bananas ? Are they so different that they can’t even be eaten ? Well, today we’re going to find out just that, so read on.

wild banana edible

Are wild bananas edible ?

Yes, some wild bananas are edible. A ripe wild banana may have a sweet and delicious taste. It may also have its distinct fresh and fruity flavor that’s mostly missing from our everyday banana.

However it depends a lot on what kind of wild banana you find. The bananas we know today are a mix of two wild banana species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.

The balbisiana has an incredible amount of hard, stony seeds that are inedible and eating it may be difficult.

The acuminata is more manageable, but will definitely pose problems due to texture.

Wild bananas can be very tough (like a plantain but more) or very seedy and only the flesh around the seeds is edible.

In short, yes wild bananas are edible but eating them may not be a good idea, unless you know exactly what kind of banana plant it is.

It’s a seedy affair

Many of us who are not used to eating raw food from the jungle, so eating wild bananas can be somewhat difficult. The biggest problem that one may encounter while eating wild bananas is the huge number of pea-sized and stone-like hard seeds in them.

Wild bananas may taste good, but eating them is not a smooth affair as it is in the case of regular bananas. There are so many seeds, and they are hard and chewy.

And you cannot decide to chew them along with the bananas. While bananas pulp is soft and sweet, their seeds are just the opposite, hard and bland.

So, are wild bananas actually edible? The answer depends on your individual perception and it depends a lot on how you perceive the presence of seeds in the wild bananas.

If the seeds completely put you off, then wild bananas are not edible for you. But if you can manage the seeds and don’t mind their presence, wild bananas are as edible as any other seeded fruits like apples, pears, and so on.

As the name suggests, these are wild bananas that no one has planted or tended. They have grown in the wilderness on their own. If they have too many seeds, you can’t blame anybody for this.

Read also: This Just In: Bananas Are Berries, But Strawberries Aren’t (Here’s Why)

So, how can you eat wild bananas?

Wild bananas can be found in local markets in hilly and forest regions all over the world. These bananas don’t look like regular bananas. Rather, they may have strange shapes and may not have such glorious yellow skin as we are accustomed to seeing on bananas.

wild bananas market

What do wild bananas taste like?

Since these are completely from nature, they have different tastes and flavors. Many people say that wild bananas taste better than regular store-bought bananas. However, there are also people that say that the taste is not as sweet and good as the bananas we are used to, I would guess this is because it is way harder to know when a wild banana is completely ripe, and not all of them will taste good.

This is a thing with every fruit that is grown in the wild, there will be bigger differences between them compared to the ones that are grown under control to be sold on the market.

If you can find ways to remove the seeds and use the pulp in smoothies and shakes.

It may be best to ask a local how to eat the local, wild bananas because they’ll definitely have the best method possible.

Different looks, shape

Besides a delicious taste, there may not be many great features in the wild banana. They may not look similar to the regular banana that we get to see in our everyday life.

They may have a different shape and structure depending on the climate and conditions in which they grow. For example, it can look stout, pointed on both ends, and protruding in the middle.

The skin may not peel off so cleanly and effortlessly. Rather, the skin may be closely associated with the fruit through interlinking fibbers. When you peel off the wild banana, a large part of the fruit may go with the skin itself.

So, the experience of eating a wild banana can be completely different from eating a regular banana. But you can eat wild bananas. They are not poisonous, nor are their seeds.

They are perfectly edible as long as you don’t mind the many seeds that you are likely going to encounter while eating the wild bananas.

The modern banana came as an attempt to get the perfect fruit. With soft seeds (or no seeds), a reasonably soft yet form texture, and great flavor.

Wild bananas are of different types and you’ll never know what kind you’ll get.

There are seedless wild bananas too

But wild bananas can also be completely seedless. These kinds of wild bananas are found in the forests of Costa Rica. These bananas are very small and thin.

Their trees are more like shrubs and can be found all over the place. Their fruits are called ‘baby bananas’ and are sweet and delicious. You can cut and bring home a hand with ripening bananas. Let it ripen away from insects and birds.

The forest is full of these wild banana trees so you will have plenty to choose from. One hand would normally have 60 yellow fingers, each 3-4 inches long. You can eat them as they ripe. There are no seeds in them.

However they are very soft and tend to get mushy very quickly.

Domestication of bananas

The wild bananas were domesticated for regular cultivation from two best known wild species Musa balbisiana and Musa acuminata, the later being more widely adopted by farmers.

It took a long time for the perfect banana combination to show up, but one it did several offshoots were developed. The most popular dessert banana is the Cavendish type.

cavendish banana

It’s the largest, longest banana on the market and most likely the kind you have at home.

Bananas are available all year round, so they are always fresh because they don’t have a specific season. They’re picked green and they ripen during transport, so they’re pretty much the perfect fruit.

Read Also:Are Persimmon Seeds Really Edible?

Final thoughts

Are wild bananas edible? Yes, they are. In fact, this is quite an exciting proposition. As different reports suggest, wild bananas can taste more delicious than our regular everyday banana.

The only annoyance are the seeds that can take some effort to be completely removed from the wild bananas. But the effort can be well worth it.

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