Pink Velvet Bananas
Inventory, bunch : 0
This item was last sold on : 11/17/22
Pink Velvet bananas are small fruits, averaging 3 to 4 centimeters in diameter and 5 to 7 centimeters in length, and have an oblong, short, and stubby appearance with tapered, blunt ends. Each banana is generally straight, sometimes slightly curved, and there are 3 to 4 angular ridges extending the length of the fruit. Pink Velvet bananas grow upright in compact bunches and are known for their signature bright pink, magenta, to rosy, red-pink hues. The banana's peel is semi-thick, fleshy, springy, and pliable, covered in a layer of soft velvety fuzz. The peel will also naturally split open when ripe, and once the fruit is mature, it is easy to remove. Inside the peel, the white flesh is creamy, dense, subtly starchy, and smooth, encasing many small, hard, and round to oblong black seeds. Each fruit can contain upwards of 40 to 90 seeds, making up most of the banana, leaving little consumable flesh. Pink Velvet bananas emit a faint aroma when peeled, releasing fruity, tropical, sweet, and faintly vegetal nuances. The flesh has a mild, sweet, and tangy flavor with subtle notes of astringency, raspberry, and tropical undertones.
Pink Velvet bananas are available year-round in tropical to subtropical climates.
Pink Velvet bananas, botanically classified as Musa velutina, are a rare ornamental variety belonging to the Musaceae family. The wild banana species is native to northeastern India and Myanmar, and over time, it has been spread throughout tropical to subtropical regions worldwide as a colorful ornamental. Pink Velvet bananas grow on plants reaching 1 to 1.8 meters in height, and the plants produce large, palm-like leaves attached to a pseudostem, a sheath of tightly overlapping leaves resembling a tree trunk. A flower stem eventually emerges from the center of a mature plant, producing a colorful light pink bract and yellow blooms, giving way to bunches of small and fuzzy, bright pink fruits. Pink Velvet bananas are known by several names, including Pink bananas, Pink Seeded bananas, Hairy bananas, Pink Fruiting bananas, Self-Peeling bananas, Shaggy-Fruited Pink bananas, and Musa Dasycarpa, another scientific classification used by some botanists. The dense, creamy, and subtly starchy bananas are edible raw, but they contain many hard, black seeds capable of cracking teeth due to their firm nature. The fruits are not traditionally consumed and are left on the plant for increased aesthetic appeal. Despite their seedy nature, another unique feature of Pink Velvet bananas is that the fruits will peel themselves when ripe on the tree. Pink Velvet banana plants are favored beyond their fruits. The plants are fast-growing and will begin to flower in as little as in year. The species is also one of the only Musa plants that can complete an entire life cycle from the rhizome, flowering, fruiting to sprouting a new rhizome in around 4 to 5 months. Pink Velvet banana plants are a hardy species and are one of the easiest bananas to grow, able to be sown in containers and displaying tolerance to colder outdoor temperatures.
Pink Velvet bananas have not been studied for their nutritional properties as the fruits are not commonly consumed. Like other banana varieties, Pink Velvet bananas are a minor source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, fiber to regulate the digestive tract, and other nutrients, including manganese, B vitamins, magnesium, and vitamin A.
Pink Velvet bananas are edible but are not commonly consumed due to their seedy nature. There are many hard, dense, and black seeds found within the flesh, and these seeds can crack teeth, recommended to be discarded during consumption. The flesh is also relatively thin, making it time-consuming to separate the flesh from the seeds. Pink Velvet banana plants are more commonly used for their large, flat leaves. Banana leaves can grow just under one meter in length and are traditionally used in Asia to wrap rice and small fish. In Assam, India, the leaves are used to wrap fish in a local delicacy known as patot dia maas. Leaves are also used to wrap banana batter and are steamed as a sweet and savory dish known as kol pitha. The batter can also be fried and is one of the famous dishes of the Bihu festival. In South and Central America, Pink Velvet banana leaves are sometimes used as a variation of tamale wrappers. Outside the leaves, Pink Velvet bananas are kept attached to their stem and utilized as brightly colored decorations, placed as table centerpieces, and used in flower arrangements. Pink Velvet bananas should be consumed when ripe and will keep for a couple of days when stored at room temperature.
The state of Assam in northeastern India produces approximately sixty percent of India's total banana crop. There are many different species of bananas grown in the region, including Pink Velvet bananas, and all parts of the banana plant have become intertwined within Assamese culture. Banana leaves are often woven into a traditional plate-like serving vessel, known as a duna, and are used during wedding celebrations. The evergreen leaves are also used as wedding decorations as a symbol of the couple's everlasting love for one another. In Hinduism, banana plants are considered holy and sacred, and parts of the plant are used in religious rituals and ceremonies. During Diwali, banana leaves are placed around the entryway to a house or business to welcome Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. A Hindu legend also recounts the time when Rishi Durvasa cursed his wife for interrupting his sleep. The wife begged Rishi Duravasa to turn her into a special and holy plant, and the god fulfilled her request, turning her into a banana plant.
Pink Velvet bananas are native to the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India and northern Myanmar and have been growing wild since ancient times. The species thrives in tropical to subtropical climates and was spread over time to regions worldwide as a garden ornamental. Pink Velvet banana plants are considered invasive in some countries due to their fast-growing habit and ability to spread at a rapid rate. The seeds in the fruits are also often dispersed through animal excrement, specifically birds and bats, further extending its range. Today Pink Velvet bananas are not commercially grown but are planted by banana enthusiasts in home landscapes in tropical to subtropical climates worldwide. The species can also be grown in greenhouses in cooler regions. In the United Kingdom, Pink Velvet bananas have been given the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society for their easy-to-grow nature and attractive aesthetic appeal. The Pink Velvet bananas featured in the photograph above were sourced from Miami Fruits in Miami, Florida.