Banana flower – pretty and edible

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Kervin‘s lovely photo reminded me about this snapshot I took a few months ago. I really have too many photos and never got the time to look through.

This is the flower of the banana family, planted for aesthetic reason. The banana fruits are not edible as they are rather small. Notice that the flower grows, pointing upwards? Normal banana flowers dangle from the stem.

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This is a close-up of another variety of banana flower. Notice that there are lots of honey bees swarming the flower? The banana flower has a lot of nectar to attract insects. When I was small, I would pick up these florets which had dropped to the ground and suck out the sweet, sticky nectar. Ewwwss… But I never had tummy aches. 🙂 The nectar looks like droplets of water and has a gel-like texture.

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Usually, the bananas will form and leave these bud (or whatever you call these purplish thing) hanging from the stem. These buds can be cut off, steam or boil and can be eaten. I like it dipped in sambal belacan or as in the photo above, sambal tempoyak.

However, old folks have warned about not eating too much of the jantung pisang as they can be ‘windy’ or produce a lot of gas, causing a bloated tummy.

The banana tree and the coconut tree are two very versatile plants. All parts of the trees have their uses.

Post Author: Lilian

Food, travel, recipes. Chinese Malaysian, blogger, photographer and writer.

3 thoughts on “Banana flower – pretty and edible

    Denise

    (December 8, 2005 - 4:21 pm)

    my mom cooks it in lemak, with prawns..and also kerabu style, with santan. yumm…sometimes if not cleaned well can be a bit pelat right?

    Adam & Sara's mom

    (December 8, 2005 - 8:56 pm)

    Old folks also believe that it is good for lactating mothers, gives more milk. I took it during the time I breastfed and my milk supply was plentiful.

    Marhainis

    (December 12, 2005 - 5:32 pm)

    hi there lilian!

    The jantung pisang is indeed yummy and can be eaten with sambal belacan or sambal tempoyak, whichever your preference, it is actually an ulam for us Malays and I especially, love it so much, and yup, u can have it in kerabu as well, there are differences in the taste of the jantung pisang according to the type of banana..and to me, I find that the outer layers have to be peeled thoroughly in order to get rid of the “kelat” taste, otherwise, it is definitely yummy

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