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Saba Bananas picture Magnify picture

Saba Bananas


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Description/Taste


Saba bananas grow in giant bunches at the top of a tall central stem on large banana palms. Once bunch of Saba bananas can weigh up to 80 pounds. Each ‘hand’ containing up to 20 angled fruits. They are shorter and thicker than a common banana, with a blockier shape and sharply angled sides. Their size ranges anywhere from 7 to 13 centimeters long depending on maturity. Saba bananas are often harvested while still green though they will mature from green to a deeper yellow color. They have a thick peel, which helps protect them during any shipment. The flesh is white and dense, with a starchy consistency, though it is not as firm as a plantain. Saba bananas offer a rich flavor profile, developing a taste somewhat like a sweet potato when cooked. When ripe they are slightly sweet with hints of citrus and peach.

Seasons/Availability


Saba bananas are available year-round.

Current Facts


Saba bananas, botanically classified as Musa acuminata x balbisiana 'Saba,' are considered a sub-group of bananas that contains many different named varieties such as Praying Hands and Cardaba. Known as Sweet plantain, Compact banana, and Papaya banana in English, Saba bananas are a popular cooking variety used and known around the world by different names. In Filipino they are known as Sab-a or Kardaba, Kluai Hin in Thai, Opo'ulu or Dippig in Hawaiian, Pisang Abu and Pisang Nipah in Malaysian, Pisang Kepok in Indonesian, and Biu Gedang Saba in Javanese.

Nutritional Value


Saba bananas are very high in starch, offering the same amount of carbohydrates as a potato. They are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C, and contain dietary fiber and iron. Eating Saba bananas raw will ensure the most nutritional benefits.

Applications


Saba bananas are primarily used as a cooking banana versus a fresh eating variety. In their immature, green state, they are cooked like a vegetable and used in savory dishes. The sweetness will neutralize any spicy foods. Unlike plantains, they can be eaten raw when mature and yellow. Another popular way to eat them is peeled, sliced and caramelized, then topped with cinnamon, raisins, vanilla and powdered sugar. They can be sliced, simply sautéed in butter and topped with syrup. Use Saba bananas for ice cream or baked goods. Another popular use for Saba bananas in the Philippines is for making ketchup, or banana sauce, an alternate to tomato ketchup. It is made using vinegar, spices, and sugar, and some recipes call for chile peppers. It is often mixed with rice or served with meats or chicken. Store Saba bananas at room temperature until ripe. Refrigerate fully ripened fruit for a few days.

Ethnic/Cultural Info


In the Philippines, Saba bananas are commonly found growing throughout the Southeast Asian islands and the Indonesian archipelago. They are sold as street food in most towns and cities, particularly as “banana-Q”. Whole Saba bananas are cooked in a wok with butter over high heat. Brown sugar is added while they cook, coating the bananas in caramel. The outside offers a candied crunch, while the inside remains soft and melting. They are served on a stick, sometimes up to two or three at a time. The street food treat is inexpensive and filling.

Geography/History


Saba bananas are native to the Philippines, and are known as Pisang Kepok in Indonesia and Kluai Hin in Thailand. They grow prolifically throughout the islands. Banana plants will only fruit once per pseudostem, but as long as the main plant remains intact it will develop a subsequent stem that will eventually bear fruit. Saba bananas are considered one of the pillars of Filipino food. The Philippines is the second largest producer of bananas, after India. Saba bananas grown in the Philippines are not typically exported. Outside of Southeast Asia, Saba bananas are grown in Hawaii and exported to the United States.


Recipe Ideas


Recipes that include Saba Bananas. One is easiest, three is harder.
Food Republic Banana Ketchup
Daily Cooking Quest Honey Batter Banana Fritters

Recently Shared


People have shared Saba Bananas using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.

Produce Sharing allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.

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2228 Westborough Blvd South San Francisco CA 94080
650-583-1388
http://www.pacificsupermarket.com
Near South San Francisco, California, United States
About 339 days ago, 2/22/20
Sharer's comments : Ripe and ready.

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4175 Mission Street San Francisco CA 94112
415-337-7272
Near Pacifica, California, United States
About 340 days ago, 2/21/20

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1420 Southgate Ave Daly City CA 94015
650-994-1688
http://www.pacificsupermarket.com
Near Daly City, California, United States
About 340 days ago, 2/21/20
Sharer's comments : Nice find.

Share Pic 46983 Manila Seafood Oriental Market Near National City, California, United States
About 657 days ago, 4/10/19
Sharer's comments : Beautiful fully ripe Saba bananas.

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Seafood City
8955 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, Ca, 92126
858-549-0200
www.seafoodcity.com
Near Poway, California, United States
About 697 days ago, 3/01/19
Sharer's comments : Saba Bananas spotted at Seafood City.