How to Know When a Red Banana is Ripe

(Last Updated On: January 8, 2018)

red banana up close

I am a guy who likes varieties. You would only have to do a peek at this blog to see that. I love trying different varieties of produce. Anytime I see a new variety, it’s like Christmas morning. Some things it’s very hard find different varieties particularly the banana. There are thousands varieties of bananas. Most people only ever have the one variety – the Cavendish – the basic yellow banana that is everywhere. If you look around you might be able to find a few other varieties. A lot of stores carry red bananas and mini bananas – which gives us a little variety but just barely even scartching the surface. But any variety to break up the monotony of Cavendish is welcomed until America’s banana spectrum increases. So when I recently say red bananas on sale for 39 cents a pound, I snatched a couple bunches up. Normally they go for more cash than the Cavendish so for them to be the same price is a rare treat. I brought them home and asked myself one question – how to know when a red banana is ripe?

How to Know When a Red Banana is Ripe?

So how do you eat a red banana? Let’s talk about ripeness.

What does “ripe” really mean? This mean when a piece of fruit is at it’s full flavor and sweetness. This doesn’t mean the fruit will be at the best for everyone’s taste buds. My wife like a solid yellow Cavendish banana, but I need to have black spots on them to even consider. I like them ripe, my wife doesn’t. It’s most important to learn what stage of maturity you like a piece of fruit.

If you want to try a red banana when it is considered ripe, there are signs to look out for. We naturally try to establish rules for when a piece of fruit is ripe, but that don’t always work for every variety of fruit. Bartlett pears and d’Anjou pears are both green when picked. When a Bartlett is ripe it will turn yellow but a d’Anjou stays green. The ripeness of a banana is like a pear, where color is varies with variety. Red bananas don’t get the spotted appearance a yellow Cavendish does. The color does change, it’s just not as obvious. What you need to look for is the banana lightening in color. You will also notice a little bit of yellow, particulary toward the end of the banana. It should give a little to gentle pressure just as a Cavendish would. There should be at least a hint of a sweet smell. There may be some blackening, but not any black spotting.