Saturday, December 22, 2007

Beautiful Bitter Banana Blossoms

Beautiful Bitter Banana Blossoms – try saying that fast 5x.

Banana blossoms are a beautiful purple – wine color. Here is some information I found about it:

“Banana Blossoms - Also know as Banana Hearts. The flowers are a purple-maroon torpedo shaped growth that appears out of the top of usually the largest of the trunks. Banana blossoms are used in Southeast Asian cuisines. The blossoms can be cooked or eaten raw. The tough covering is usually removed until you get to the almost white tender parts of the blossom. It should be sliced and let it sit in water until most of the sap are gone. If you eat it raw, make sure the blossom comes from a variety that isn't bitter. Most of the Southeast Asian varieties aren't bitter.”

I peeled off the outer layers and this is how it looked.

The shape is so unusual - kind of looks like a Christmas lightbulb.

I sliced it up – unsure from what I read, whether or not the actual flower looking part was edible…so I refrained from tasting that part. The picture of the blossom sliced up – was about 10 min after I cut it up – as you can see it browns very quickly.

It was quite sticky as I cut it up – there was some type of sap dripping out of the top when I sliced off the tip.

I wish I had read ahead of time “if you eat it raw, make sure the blossom comes from a variety that isn’t bitter”. It didn’t have much of a flavor itself – the only sensation after taking one bite is bitterness and mouth puckering. Reminds me of when as kids we would pick and eat some pin cherries from a tree out at the lake. Just from a very tiny piece in my mouth – it felt like all the moisture in my mouth was being sucked out. I could not swallow it.

I gave tiny portions to the kids and their comments were “it tastes weird!” and “bitter!”

I know there are ways you can cook it up and make it taste better – but I decided to cut my losses. I could not imagine adding this to a salad, as many recipes suggested.


Beth said...

That's a new one for me...never heard of banana blossoms, nor have I seen them in the store. Sounds like a persimmon (at least, the "moisture sucked out of my mouth" taste of persimmons)!

EdibleEducation said...

There was some "fruit" I remember tasting as a teenager, at a friend's country home - that had the same moisture sucking must have been a persimmon.