The only globally mass-produced yellow banana variety today – the one that you likely picture when you hear the word “banana” – is called the Cavendish. Cavendish bananas have a thick signature-yellow peel when ripe, encasing their soft, cream-colored, semi-starchy flesh. Their flavour can vary, as they become sweeter as they ripen. Hence, some people wait to eat them until after their yellow peel becomes flecked with brown. The banana plant itself isn’t a tree, but rather the largest herb in the world. Bananas grow in hanging clusters, called bunches, from these tall plants that can reach over 20 feet tall.
Today, the banana is considered the fourth most valuable food crop on the planet behind wheat, rice, and milk, and is often hailed as the perfect food because it is one of the world's most accessible, nutritious, convenient, affordable crops grown year-round.
Bananas are well known for their potassium content, but they also offer a healthy boost of vitamin B, vitamin C, fibre, and magnesium. They contain three natural sources of sugar – sucrose, fructose, and glucose – and are denser in calories than most other fruits, making them an extremely efficient and sustainable source of energy.
Bananas are most commonly eaten fresh, though they can also be dried or cooked. Simply peel and enjoy, or use fresh in smoothies and on top of cereal or granola. They can be baked in muffins and banana bread, or used to make ice cream and puddings. They pair well with berries and other tropical fruits like pineapple, guava and mango, as well as flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, caramel, chocolate, and vanilla. As tropical fruits, bananas don't care for the cold of a refrigerator, so store them at room temperature where they'll continue to ripen gradually.