Earlier this week, the New York Post covered delightfully bizarre news: a Japanese company has developed a banana with an edible peel. So long, loose peels just waiting to be slipped on! It seems the era of the classic pratfall is over.
According to a report from SoraNews24, the bananas are grown at D&T Farm in Okayama Prefecture, in western Japan, and do in fact have edible peels. The growers achieve the effect by keeping the banana trees in an intensely cold environment—76°F below zero—then thawing and replanting them at around 80°F. It’s this rapid change in temperature that prevents the peels from maturing to full capacity. The company is calling the banana variety the Mongee (“mon-gay”) banana. Mongee is local Okayama slang for “incredible.”
If you’ve ever tasted the skin of a banana, as I did in anticipation of this article (I’m a journalist, don’t judge me!!), you’d know that it’s astringent and rubbery and far from pleasing. Are these peels any different? According to the team at SoraNews, they are. They gathered their staff for a taste test and here’s what they had to say:
“On the first bite we noticed that the skin is fairly easy to eat. Since it’s very thin, there’s no strange texture, and compared to the sweetness of the banana there isn’t much flavor to the skin. So the Mongee Banana truly does have an edible skin.”
In addition to having edible skin, the Mongees are sweeter than their counterparts, with 24.8 grams of sugar compared to an average of 18.3 grams in other bananas. And because of their unique growing environment, the bananas are not treated with pesticides, so that makes them organic. Hmm. I’m sold! Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I’m bound to get my hands on the Mongee anytime soon: The company produces only 10 bananas a week, and even those are available only in Okayama. Plus, they retail for 684 yen—around $6.25. Is the steep price worth it? For the novelty of a banana with an edible skin, perhaps.
What would you do to get your hands on a banana with an edible peel? Let us know in the comments.