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Q: sweet small bananas ( No Answer,   8 Comments )
Subject: sweet small bananas
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: dood-ga
List Price: $3.50
Posted: 14 Apr 2003 16:19 PDT
Expires: 14 May 2003 16:19 PDT
Question ID: 190490
Traveling in the Bocas del Toro Province of Panama recently I came
across some indigenous people selling very small bananas beside the
highway between David and Bocas.  I paid a nickel apiece for about 8
of them.  The bananas were about 4" in length, perfectly formed, sweet
and very delicious.  My interpreter said they were called "Buchus",
but I can't find that name anywhere.  It's probably a local name.  I
would like to know where I can find the banana plants so I can try
them in Florida.

Request for Question Clarification by tutuzdad-ga on 14 Apr 2003 17:19 PDT
Are you talking about PLANTAINS perhaps? If so, I can tell you more about them.


Clarification of Question by dood-ga on 14 Apr 2003 20:25 PDT
Definitely not plaintains as I know them.  However, if some plaintains
are small and sweet instead of large and starchy, it could be.

Clarification of Question by dood-ga on 14 Apr 2003 21:11 PDT
After reading very cogent comments by Pinkfreud and Tehuti, I might
add that the peeling is very thin and that it may be the "apple
dessert banana." The website given by Pinkfreud is for a nursery not
too far from Edgewater, where I live and has a banana that almost fits
the description of the ones I ate. Thanks for the nice comments
Pinkfreud and Tehuti.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the plant
which bore the stalk, so I can't comment on the height of the plant.

Request for Question Clarification by feilong-ga on 14 Apr 2003 21:47 PDT
I'm familiar with the banana you are looking for. Here in my place,
it's called "Señorita". There is also a similar variety called
"Ptogo". Both are sweet and have thin skin. The pictures shown in this
link can help you verify. Take note, the bananas I mentioned are still

Request for Question Clarification by thx1138-ga on 15 Apr 2003 07:12 PDT
I think it could be a "banana-ouro" or golden banana (That's what they
are called in Brazil anyway!)

"banana-ouro (inajá, banana-dedo-de-moça, banana-mosquito ou
banana-imperador) - é a menor de todas as bananas, medindo no máximo
10 cm. Tem forma cilíndrica, casca fina de cor amarelo-ouro, polpa
doce, de sabor e cheiro agradáveis. É muito usada para fazer

Basically the above says: (my translation from Portuguese)
"golden banana (other names) the smallest of all bananas, maximum size
10 cm (about 4 inches). It has a round form with a thin skin and
golden colour, sweet to eat, with a nice flavour and smell.  It's used
alot to make croquettes"

banana-ouro (picture)

What do you think?

Best regards


Clarification of Question by dood-ga on 16 Apr 2003 09:16 PDT
The suggestions by THX1138 and Feilong of the golden banana and the
Seniorita banana may be the ones I'm looking for.  I've ordered the
apple dessert banana from the website suggested by Pinkfreud.  I don't
mind ordering a few more in order to get the right one, so long as I
can find a supplier in the States with an English website.

Request for Question Clarification by feilong-ga on 16 Apr 2003 09:56 PDT
I finally found a nice photo of ripe señoritas:

Tagaytay - Bananas

You can save the photo by right-clicking on the image and choosing
"Save Picture As..." so that you can view it better and be able to
zoom in using an image browser such as ACDSee.

Clarification of Question by dood-ga on 21 Apr 2003 21:00 PDT
The pictures provided by Feilong look like the ones I saw.  The
description fits, also.  Now, where can I buy the Senorita Bananas? 
Bare root stock is okay. Thanks, Feilong-ga!

Request for Question Clarification by feilong-ga on 22 Apr 2003 01:11 PDT
Thank you Dood. Please bear in mind that here in my country,
"Señorita" is the local name of the banana you are looking for. This
banana is also called "Lady Finger" in many countries. Since the names
can vary, it would be quite difficult to track it down by its name
alone. I used several search strings and spellings for the Señorita
but found nothing positive with regards to where to buy this banana.
However, I seemed to have found a one-stop shop for bananas where
prices range from $20 - $25 and the owners seem to be real banana
connoisseurs. Based on the descriptions I've seen, it is most likely
that they have this particular banana. You can make inquiries by
showing them the picture links I have provided. Would you like to
accept this as an answer?

Clarification of Question by dood-ga on 22 Apr 2003 12:39 PDT
I have lady finger bananas in my yard.  The ones I'm looking for are
definitely not Lady Fingers, although the description and pictures
provided by Feilong seemed to fit the bill. Thanks for the diligent
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: sweet small bananas
From: pinkfreud-ga on 14 Apr 2003 17:22 PDT
I wonder if this "lunchbox banana" from Australia could be the same
small, sweet banana you're looking for?
Subject: Re: sweet small bananas
From: pinkfreud-ga on 14 Apr 2003 17:26 PDT
Could it be Musa Cavendishii?

"...the banana (Musa 'Cavendishii') which fruits well. This small,
sweet banana was originally imported in 1829 and did so well at
Chatsworth that Paxton sent one to an English missionary in Samoa
where it flourished. It is now widely grown commercially, especially
in the Canary Islands." 

"Fruits as many as 200 to 250 in the bunch, oblong, six-angled,
slightly curved, 4 - 5 in. long, above 1½ in. in diameter; seedless,
edible, with a rather thick skin and delicate fragrant flesh."
Subject: Re: sweet small bananas
From: tehuti-ga on 14 Apr 2003 17:34 PDT
These are definitely not plantains, which tend to be more floury than
sweet.  I've had small sweet bananas in other parts of the Caribbean.
I think these are just the indigenous fruit, which represent bananas
as they should be before United Fruit and various "quality control"
freaks brainwashed everyone into thinking bigger equals better, when
it fact it leads to blander tasting fruit.  Here's an article about an
Australian banana grower who found that the fruit that used to be
rejected for being too small is actually the better variety
Subject: Re: sweet small bananas
From: pinkfreud-ga on 14 Apr 2003 17:37 PDT
Another possibility:

"APPLE Banana Dessert type, pleasant apple flavor when fully ripe.
Fruit: 4 to 6 inches. Grows to 10 to 12 feet. The fruit is not ripe
until some brownish specs appear on the skin. The size and quality of
this banana tree makes it one of the worlds best eating bananas as
well as one of the best dessert bananas. Very thin skined when ripe
and super flavor. Sweetest banana I've ever eaten. Excellent also for
container growing as in the ground. Nice looking too."
Subject: Re: sweet small bananas
From: tehuti-ga on 14 Apr 2003 18:07 PDT
Ooops, sorry Pinkfreud, I didn't notice I cited a URL you had already found!
Subject: Re: sweet small bananas
From: stressedmum-ga on 16 Apr 2003 06:25 PDT
Here in Australia, we have a variety of small, sweet bananas called
"lady fingers". They sound pretty much like what you describe. If you
have a look at this site:
and click on the link for a brochure of Lady Fingers bananas, you'll
get an accurate picture of them.
Subject: Re: sweet small bananas
From: feilong-ga on 16 Apr 2003 06:37 PDT
"Lady Fingers" also happen to be another name for what we call "Señorita". :-)
Subject: Re: sweet small bananas
From: froogler-ga on 22 Apr 2003 17:11 PDT
A coworker, seeing this thread, recommended this site for purchasing
hundreds of varieties of bananas...just FYI - I know this is not
helping to answer the question, but I thought it might help you find
them once you're sure what they are...

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