Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Local Bananas in Thailand – A Rare Find

Little (lady) and large (elephant) the size of both easily differentiates each from the other. 

Change stimulates the mind and absence makes the heart grow fonder. In absence we are reminded of the value of what is missing thus bringing about greater appreciation to what becomes routine and sometimes taken for granted. As a diversion to drinking tea and thinking about tea every day I am temporarily switching my focus and taking a break from tea in this entry. - For the past few days I have been walking the local markets and searching for local ingredients that would inspire my next fermentation project. I would not be disappointed and I managed to pick up 2 types of banana, กล้วยเล็บมือนาง (aka Lady Finger) and กล้วยช้าง (Chang is a Thai word that literally translate to elephant).

The lady finger used to be quite common in Bangkok but it is now becoming harder to find. This little gem is amongst my favorite fruits. When ripe it releases a uniquely alluring fragrance all its own. The taste is richer and sweeter than the highly commercialize cultivar of cavendish banana. The texture is sticky with a gooey elasticity. The best lady fingers are naturally grown and are small, literally the size of a lady's finger hence the name. These are much more intense and concentrated in flavor than the larger but commercially farmed banana. That said the problem with this variety is that there is little meat on these small bananas and the skin is very thin making the lady finger prone towards bruising.


กล้วยช้าง or elephant banana is rarely seen and this is my first encounter with this large variety. It feels a bit strange to be excited about a banana but I am curious to see how this banana will turn out once it ripens. In my next entry I will share my tasting note together with how I intend to use this banana in an upcoming fermentation project.

Additional Info: Thailand is blessed with many different varieties of banana. To see more click on the links below.
Banana Varieties - OKNation Blog
Photos form Banana Land event - Pantip,com

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