These are boiled saba banana. We ate plenty of these during our childhood years. Its a cheap and affordable merienda. In fact it was always free. Almost 1/3 of father’s farm was covered with bananas.
Saba bananas can be boiled when still green, it taste awful though. Can be boiled when yellow ripe, its yummy. Can also be boiled when at its almost overripe stage, this is the most delectable for me.
The picture below is La Tundan banana. Its taste when green is astringent or mapakla. Full yellow ripe is sweet and commonly eaten as dessert.
I asked mom before why she often cooked saba banana but never cooked la tundan. She said that it cannot be boiled. No further explanations said.
Saba banana is a cooking type. It is starchy. During boiling, the starch undergoes the process of gelatinization. A reason why saba banana is firmer when cooked. La tundan is a dessert type. Fit only for eating when in its yellow ripe stage. It contains less starch – not enough to gelatinize the whole fruit.
Too see is to believe so I set up a simple experiment. I got one ripe la tundan and boiled it for ten minutes.
The first observation. The peel cracked.
Due to its low starch content, the pulp become mushy. It looks disgusting. Would you like to eat something like this?
I got a fork and tasted a bit. The taste became antringent / mapakla.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.