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Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

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Daehawk
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Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by Daehawk » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:23 pm

I've known for a decade or two about how before 1960 or so that the world used another type of banana. It was called the Gros Michel or Big Mike. It was a larger and sweeter banana than the clone Cavendish ones we get today. A disease wiped it out commercially though the rare tree is still around. There are also some other bananas that are very similar but hard to get. Anyways our banana today is being killed off by a new strain of that same old disease. In decades we may need a new banana or have no bananas today...or ever.

I find this story fun and interesting so it's fun to look up. Go ahead and check it out.

http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2 ... t-be-saved" target="_blank

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gros_Michel_banana" target="_blank
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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by Odin » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:29 pm

I actually heard the same thing several years back, however more recently I heard a report that toned down the rhetoric and the panic. Commercial banana plantations are VERY tightly controlled. Much moreso than in the 60s when the Gros Michel was the main crop. In order for the new disease to infect the plants, it would need to be introduced to the fields, which it most likely never will be due to those tight controls. It certainly wouldn't be introduced to all of the plantations in a short enough time period to wipe out (or significantly dent) the entire crop. Infected fields would surely be burned down and then re-planted with healthy plants if it came to it.

There is currently little to no danger of the Cavendish going extinct. Still, I'd love to try a Gros Michel just to see what the difference is. I've heard them described as being much, MUCH better than the Cavendish, which is hard to imagine.

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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by Odin » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:33 pm

Also, it's not readily apparent unless you read the intro carefully, but that article is from 2005. It may have been sensationalistic or perhaps it was just accurate at that time, but clearly from the story I got more recently, it's not the issue that that article describes. Which is good, because I cannot eat rice krispies without sliced banana and a little sugar.

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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by Odin » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:34 pm

Ah-ha! Me again! Turns out one of the places I saw the story debunked was on snopes.com. So there you go.

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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by Daehawk » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:37 pm

Me and my wife run on banana pudding. I make it by hand by mixing and cooking the custard from scratch. Most amazing pudding ever. Plan to make some for Xmas is why I was re reading this stuff :)
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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by bb2112 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:43 pm

Daehawk wrote:Me and my wife run on banana pudding. I make it by hand by mixing and cooking the custard from scratch. Most amazing pudding ever. Plan to make some for Xmas is why I was re reading this stuff :)
That sounds so good. Recipe or it doesn't exist!
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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by tgb » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:26 pm

I spent 90% of the money I made on women, booze, and drugs. The other 10% I just pissed away.

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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by Daehawk » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:30 pm

bb2112 wrote:
Daehawk wrote:Me and my wife run on banana pudding. I make it by hand by mixing and cooking the custard from scratch. Most amazing pudding ever. Plan to make some for Xmas is why I was re reading this stuff :)
That sounds so good. Recipe or it doesn't exist!
Keep in mind you need to make two of these amounts cooked separately to make enough to fill a big bowl. I tried making both batches together and it never turned out good. It takes a good 30-40 min of stirring it as it cooks. So you're looking at nearly 2 hours of standing there :)

1 tsp vanilla
2c milk
2 tbls butter
2 - 3 egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
1c sugar
1/3c flour

Mix it up in a pot on LOW to Med Low stirring constantly until it thickens up. Don't let it get as thick as you want it because it will continue to thicken after you remove from the heat. Also dont try to cook it hotter or faster cause it will just scorch.

Ok that's the custard part. Other than that you need soft ripe bananas peeled and cut in disks and layer those in a big bowl with Nilla Wafers. Each batch should get you two layers. So a four layer pudding :)
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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by Sudy » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:34 pm

Gros Michels were clones too. It was interesting to ask my grandfather about them; he remembers them fondly.

I recommend Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World. It's half modern science, half history, and half geopolitical adventure story. That's right; 1.5 books for the price of 1.
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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by Daehawk » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:00 am

*burp* skuze me. Made some deviled eggs. Yummy. I gotta stop cooking or Im gonna get fats. :)

We didn't have much money to spare for Xmas dinner so Im cooking a small ham, using a piece of the fat of that in some green beans, making a candied yam casserole from canned yams(I tested it will rock), and a banana pudding. yay us. Still thems good eats.
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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by Alefroth » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:30 am

Had a couple of varieties of banana in Hawaii that were much better than Cavendish. Smaller, creamier, and sweeter. Apple Banana and Lady Finger.

Ale

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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by Sectoid » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:31 am

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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by silverjon » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:19 am

Alefroth wrote:Had a couple of varieties of banana in Hawaii that were much better than Cavendish. Smaller, creamier, and sweeter. Apple Banana and Lady Finger.

Ale
Both these varieties can be grown as house plants (with supplemental lighting), as they can fruit when 3-4' tall.
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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:07 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:12 am
I've been told that Gros Michel bananas were much better-tasting than the Cavendish bananas that replaced them after the Panama disease outbreak in the 1950s.

So I'd be curious to try a Gros Michel banana split to find out exactly how it compares to what we're used to nowadays.
What breed is next on the list?

Wired
The banana—or at least the fruit as we know it—is facing an existential crisis. A deadly fungus that has decimated banana plantations in southeast Asia for 30 years has finally done what scientists have long been fearing, and made its way to Latin America—the heart of the global banana export market.

On August 8 the Colombian Agricultural Institute announced that it had confirmed that the fungus—a strain of Fusarium oxysporum called Tropical Race 4 (TR4)—had been found in plantations in the north of the country. The country declared a national state of emergency, destroying crops and quarantining plantations in an attempt to avert the spread of the fungus.
...
TR4 lives in the soil and can be transmitted on unclean tires or boots, or spread from banana plants when they are replanted in different farms. Once present in soil, it can stay dormant for years before infecting banana plants through their roots, spreading to the water- and nutrient-conducting tissue and starving them of nourishment.
...
In the extremely low-margin banana industry, relatively little funding is directed toward research into new banana varieties that might be resistant to the disease. Over the past decade, the price of bananas in the UK has stayed steady at £0.94 ($1.13) per kilogram. In the same time period, the price of apples went from £1.51 ($1.82) to £2.08 ($2.51) per kilogram—an increase of nearly 40 percent.
...
Work is already underway to use Crispr gene-editing to create Cavendish bananas that are resistant to TR4. In 2018, the plant biologist James Dale demonstrated that it’s possible to modify the Cavendish genome using Crispr, and in Norwich a firm called Tropic Biosciences is also experimenting with using Crispr to engineer resistant bananas.

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Re: Bananas!...not your grandparents fruit

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:15 pm

Atlas Obscura on the Gros Michel (2018)
Having given up on finding the Gros Michel in the wild, I’ve ordered it in from the Miami Fruit Company in South Florida, a tropical fruit grower with so many different bananas they’ll ship you an entire sampler of different varieties. I spend the next week waiting for them to ripen so I can hand them out to Atlas Obscura staff members and their banana-loving family members. “It’s not a taste revelation,” Koeppel has warned me on the phone. Visually, there’s no obvious difference—the inside of the skin is a little silkier, the stem, to my mind, slightly more delicate. Across a room, I’d definitely mistake them for a Cavendish.

Biting into the banana of yesteryear, I expect a more intensely tropical flavor and the vivid sweetness of artificial isoamyl acetate banana flavor. Instead, the fruit is tangy and complex. Everyone who eats one over the following week agrees: This is a superior banana, with a creamier texture and a more delicious flavor. I could eat three in one go, easily. But these bananas have not come cheap. Each costs about $2 a pop, which would get me at least a half-dozen at my local bodega.
Pre-order your bananas here. ~$97 - $300 for a large box.

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