Everybody loves bananas, right? It’s sweet and healthy, and has a lot of potassium, which makes it a great post-workout snack. So many people eat one nearly every day. In Ecuador, however, people’s love for the banana is so strong that they base their whole nutrition plan on this one fruit. It could, for sure, be named the King of Ecuadorian fruits. And the banana family is indeed as big as the Royal Family. In Ecuador, there are about 300 types of banana! A bit overwhelming, isn’t it? In this post, I’m just going to talk about the most popular 5 banana varieties in Ecuador.
PLÁTANO VERDE or PLANTAIN
The plátano verde is probably the most popular fruit in Ecuador. People are crazy about patacones and bolón here, and plantain is the main (and sometimes only) ingredient. ‘Verde’ in Spanish means ‘green’ so, as you might have guessed, this banana is green, unripe, and inedible when raw (and also un-peelable without a knife).
Unlike the verde, the maduro is ripe and sweet. The easiest way to cook it is just to put it in an oven for 20 minutes, make a deep cut along the full length and put some cream cheese inside. Yummy!
The orito, or baby banana, is probably the sweetest Ecuadorian fruit you will ever try. It’s tiny, fits on a child’s palm, and has so much sugar that it makes me wince.
The red banana tastes just like the normal yellow fellow we are all used to, but it has purple skin and pinkish flesh. It also has a lot of carotene and vitamin C, which makes it a healthy choice all-year-round!
This banana is known as an apple banana (i.e. manzano), and for a good reason: it is firmer than a normal banana and it DOES smell like an apple! This Ecuadorian fruit is popular in Asia, and I guess they export it all because I haven’t encountered one in the supermarket yet.