This aromatic, tiny red banana is prized above its yellow-skinned cousin for a flavour that is sweet with a hint of strawberry-raspberry. The high presence of carotene provides its distinctive skin colour that ranges between deep maroon-red to purple whilst its soft, creamy flesh has a pinkish tinge. An exotic fruit, red bananas are cultivated in Central America and Asia; an American advertisement from 1889 informed the public that there were 2 kinds of banana: one with yellow skin and one with red, the latter claiming to be the most desirable and even though they were (and remain) at least twice the price of yellow skinned, red bananas became a popular commodity.


Choose as you would a yellow ‘chiquita’ banana, slightly soft but not overly so and a few blemishes on the skin won’t affect taste or quality; generally the darker the colour the less ripe the banana so, set aside for several days until they are at their sweet-peak. Naturally high in fiber, vitamin C and B6, red bananas are an excellent source of antioxidants and, as sportsmen will confirm, are also a power-house of potassium that helps to regulate the body’s electrolyte balance.


Red bananas can replace yellow in any recipe but its superior flavour means that most prefer to eat ‘au naturale’…