|As a structural design element - a trio of bananas make a solid support for the fruit hamper|
As a strong structural component of a fruit basket, bananas make a great staple ingredient and add colour and textural variety to each fruit hamper. We love putting bananas in a hamper as they hold the whole display together and are a great eating fruit for people who have tooth/dietary restrictions.
In Australia, bananas come under the three main types, even though there are hundreds of varieties in all types of colours and sizes. The three main varieties are Cavendish, Lady Finger and Plaintain and these are the types you are likely to encounter at your local fruit and vegetable markets.
Cavendish – these are the typical bananas you eat everyday – these are the bananas you are most likely to encounter in a Hunter Valley Hampers Fruit Basket.
Lady Finger – a small, squat banana with a lemony flavour – makes great school lunchbox filler although can be a tad more expensive than your cavendish.
Plantain – your cooking banana – too astringent for straight eating – makes great banana bread and bakes.
Bananas are native to the South East Asian region – and are actually herbs – not palms or trees at all. The plant grows with a trunk of tightly curled leaves which only open at the top of the plant – from a well secured rhizome underground. The actual bananas grow outward from a single flower stem and the individual fingers form hands which make up a bunch.
From planting out as seedlings, Bananas take around nine months to mature in tropical settings, and in Australia from Coffs Harbour upwards. As bananas mature off the plant they are picked green and transported to the place of consumption. If stored cool, the ripening process is stalled and when you want to ripen the bananas you simply take them out of cold storage.
In your get well soon hamper your bananas will be ripe for eating – that means with a few brown splashes and yellow tips. Enjoy and share over the next few days with your hospital fresh fruit for visitors so you can make the most of your recovery time.