A noteworthy banana: Apple banana

The Apple banana (also known as Latundan banana, Tundan, Silk bananas, Pisang raja sereh or Manzana bananas) are triploid hybrid banana cultivars from the Philippines. It is one of the most common banana cultivars in the Philippines.

Most bananas are nowadays sterile hybrids or cultivars and the Apple banana is no exception: it is actually a hybrid cultivar of the wild seeded bananas Musa balbisiana and Musa acuminate. The apple banana is a triploid (AAB) hybrid[1]. Its full scientific designation is Musa acuminata × M. balbisiana (AAB Group) 'Silk'.
[Image: www.hale-pohaku.com]
Apple bananas are rather stout and plump, with a thick taut peel. The texture of their flesh is firm when young, maturing to tender and creamy when ripe. Apple banana's flavor is a reflection of its name: when young, it is both tangy and sweet with apple nuances. As the fruit ripens, it will develop a far more tropical flavour profile, with notes of pineapple and strawberry.

One of its names, Latundan banana, honours Claude Letoundal, a French missionary from India who introduced the banana in the Philippines where it remains the most popular banana grown on the islands of the Philippines.

The Apple banana is not grown for large scale commercial production, thus its culinary relevance is mainly within its growing region.

[1] Heautea et al: Analysis of induced mutants of Philippine bananas with molecular markers. Pdf here.

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