Japan's special bananas have edible peels. Which is to say, these bananas have gone bananas.
Maybe it was conceived to simplify banana daiquiris and banana pies or maybe someone somewhere requires a lesson on how to properly peel a banana, but here comes Japan's super-rare banana with edible skin.
Shelved with other high-end fruits, these not-so-cheap bananas cost about $5.75 each, and only about 10 bananas are available for sale per week at select Japanese grocery stores. The Mongee banana (pronounced "mon-gay") is grown in Okayama Prefecture, according to Sora News 24, and is produced using a unique method called "Freeze Thaw Awakening."
On one hand, you have a standard banana grown in the sultry climates of Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras, where it will encounter natural predators like beetles and wasps. On the other hand, you have Mongee bananas raised in non-tropical climates, thus, zero natural predators. This means the fruits are never exposed to pesticides and are considered millennial-friendly ("organic").
Unfortunately for American millennials, Mongee bananas can only be found in one place: the Fruit Corner of Tenmanya Okayama. In Okayama, "mongee" is slang for "incredible," which makes sense when you think about this fruit's novelty. The department store receives just one shipment per week (only 10 bananas!).
Luckily, if you're wondering if Mongee bananas are worth the extra effort, a reporter at Sora News 24 conducted his own taste test. As it turns out, these special Japanese bananas are not as "mongee" as you'd expect.
First, the banana looks and smells exactly like its purebred brethren, except for its relatively thin skin. But things get interesting when you bite into it. Its flavor profile has been described as a "very strong tropical flavor" and "almost pineapple-like."
For a fruit to lay claim as completely edible, one can reasonably expect a fruit that produces more than just an edible skin. It should be tasty, too. Although the skin was fairly easy to eat and was without any weird textures, the tasters at Sora News 24 found the skin didn't have much flavor at all. "It was bitter, but not inedible" was the final take on Mongee bananas.
"Not inedible" falls a bit short of "incredible" if you ask me.