It’s easy to see how someone could take issue with banana peels: They’re a major source of waste, it takes effort to peel them, and they’re always making people slip and fall (at least in 1920s slapstick gags). If you agree that the banana’s conventional covering leaves room for improvement, check out this Japanese alternative. As SoraNews24 reports, the Mongee banana from D&T Farm features a tender skin you can bite straight into and eat.
The Japanese food company grows the special fruit in the country’s Okayama Prefecture. Instead of cultivating them in a tropical climate that’s typical for the plant, D&T Farm freezes their saplings at -76°F. The frozen trees are then thawed and planted, which prompts a burst of rapid growth. The process is meant to awaken an ancient survival mechanism banana trees used to make it through the Ice Age. Not only does this allow farmers to grow bananas faster and in cooler climates, it also makes for a thinner, softer banana skin.
Mongee bananas are more pungent and stickier than regular bananas, thanks to their higher sugar content. To eat one whole, you first must wait for brown dots to appear on the skin, which indicate that it’s ripe. According to tasters at SoraNews24, the flesh of the fruit has a tropical taste similar to pineapples, while the peel is pretty much flavorless and easy to chew. According to D&T Farm, people who consume the peel get bonus doses of vitamin B6 and magnesium.
The fruits are only available at one store in Japan, and even if you’re able to get there you’ll have to snag one of the 10 bananas that arrive at the shop each week and pay roughly $5.75 for it. Of course you can always settle for eating the skin on a regular banana, which may be bitter and fibrous but still offers all the same health benefits.