These odd looking bananas have several names, depending on its growing region, including: red bananas, the Red Spanish, Red Cuban, Colorado or Lal kela. Their official botanical name is Red Dacca. It is a vigorous, highly resistant grower that produces bunches with up to one hundred fruits. Red bananas are the most sought after “alternative” banana variety to common yellow bananas within industrialized countries in the world.
This type of bananas contain more beta carotene and Vitamin C than the Yellow banana varieties. All bananas contain three natural sources of sugar: sucrose, fructose, and glucose, which makes them a source of instant and sustainable energy.
A ripe Red banana can be great for fresh-eating, but it is preferred as a baking variety for both desserts and semi-savory dishes. When dessert are being prepared, complimentary pairings include apples, stonefruit, berries such as strawberries and blueberries, citrus, lemongrass, cream, yogurt and mint. Within savory dishes, complimentary pairings include cream, chiles, pork, chicken, black beans, limes, mango, pineapple and nuts such as cashews and hazelnuts.
The Piro tribe lives in the jungles of Peru and their culture is completely based around the banana. All their celebrations consist of giving the bananas as gifts. The Young males in the tribe compete to climb banana trees the fastest and the highest. They also have a superstitious belief that each end of the banana contains a good side and a bad side, so according to it, if you open a banana on the bad side you are inviting a bad omen into your life. They have a culturally specific method to opening the banana so that they can avoid this. They twist the banana from the middle in order to negate the “bad” side of the banana.
Red bananas are native to India and Southeast Asia. Their wild ancestors are also native there. They have been transported into similar sub-tropical regions where they can flourish through trade routes. Some of these regions are: Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Pacific Islands.