Science has gone bananas!
According to the New York Post, a Japanese agricultural research company has developed a banana with a surrounding skin that’s entirely edible. The new banana, called the Mongee (pronounced mon-gay) is produced using extreme freezing and thawing that causes the fruit to grow rapidly, leaving the skin thin, like lettuce, instead of the thick, rubbery casing we are used to.
In order to grow the freaky fruit, first the trees must be planted and grown in an environment with the temperature controlled at negative 76 degrees Fahrenheit. At just the right moment, the plants are left to thaw and replanted. The rapid change in temperature causes the plant to grow quickly — stunting the fruit’s ability to develop it’s trademark thick peel. Instead, the fruit has a thin “lettuce”-like texture, explained D&T Farm’s spokesman Tetsuya Tanaka. Regular bananas require temperatures of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The idea for Mongees, Tanaka said, began as a research “hobby” and evolved from there.
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Japan's Mongee Banana (pronounced “mon-gay” and “mongee” is Okayama slang for “incredible”) is a very special banana. Why? It’s only grown and produced at D&T Farm in Okayama Prefecture, and they only sell 10 bananas per week. One banana costs 648 yen (about US$5.75), but the most interesting thing about this banana is that you can eat the skin! How? They use a method called “Freeze Thaw Awakening”, which extracts and implements the DNA of fruits in order to produce specimen similar to ancient times, which then allows them to be grown in a cooler climate. Bananas produced in this way were successfully grown for the first time in November. Since they’re raised in a non-tropical climate, they don’t have any natural predators, which means no pesticides are used and Mongee Bananas are organically grown. They’re sweeter than regular bananas, with 24.8 grams of sugar, as opposed to the average 18.3 grams. Because of that, they’re also stickier and have a much stronger smell. Try this incredible edible fruit! 🍌👌🇯🇵️ (Source/Images ©SoraNews24) #freedomjapanesemarket #okayama #japan #japanese #mongee #banana #edible #edibleskin #incredible #fruit #organic #organicallygrown #snack #box #japanesefood #rare #didyouknow #fyi #info #love #delicacy #landoftherisingsun #monday #thoughts #food #foodporn #foodgasm #foodlover
Pun alert: That all sounds appealing, but what do they taste like?
Journalists at RocketNews24 gave them a taste-test last month and reported a “very strong tropical flavor,” like a pineapple. They said the skin was “fairly easy to eat” with “no strange texture.” The team said there “wasn’t much flavor to the skin,” but deemed the skin actually edible. For comparison, they also taste-tested the skin of an ordinary banana from Ecuador, which was described as “far too tough and fibrous … bitter and astringent.”
Unfortunately, Mongees won’t be available in the United States anytime soon. Only about 10 of them go on sale each week at an Okayama prefecture department store in western Japan. The bananas are selling for around $6 apiece because production costs are so high.
But there is hope for fruit fans.
“We are also considering export [to the U.S.], but it is likely [to take a while,]” Tetsuya said.