While the Canary Island banana has long been known for its characteristic yellow color, a surprising transformation has occurred, turning some of these fruit blue. This might sound like a tall tale, but it’s a real development in the world of bananas, introducing new colors and flavors to this beloved fruit.
In the Canary Islands, where bananas are a flagship product, they’re no longer confined to their traditional yellow hue. Now, you can find innovative red and blue varieties, with 80 plants of the Musa blue java type thriving in the fertile volcanic soil of La Palma.
Eduardo León, a dedicated farmer, has played a pivotal role in this revolution. He has successfully cultivated a unique variant with a delightful vanilla flavor. Prior to this experiment, he had been growing regular yellow and red bananas on his Tenerife farm. León proudly shared, “I have 14,000 yellow plants, 750 red plants, and 80 blue plants.”
According to the farmer, the distinctive blue color of the fruit is a result of natural waxes that coat it when it’s not yet ripe. This greenish-blue tint gradually fades as the fruit ripens.
Notably, this transformation doesn’t involve genetic engineering. Instead, it’s a variety that has been cultivated in locations like Hawaii, the Philippines, and Central America. Inside, this fruit boasts a white or softer yellow hue compared to the traditional Canary Island banana, and its texture is notably tender. Another advantage is that these blue bananas require no phytosanitary products and are highly wind-resistant.
While you won’t find these blue bananas in supermarkets just yet, they are in an evaluation phase. They are set to make their debut on October 3rd at Fruit Attraction 2023 in Madrid.
Eduardo León’s efforts were supported by the Tenerife Agricultural Federation of Trade Unions (Fast) and the company Cultivos y Tecnología Agraria de Tenerife (Cultesa).