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Japanese market welcomes banana with edible skin

A Japanese company has cultivated a variety of banana that does not require peeling before consumption. The Mongee banana (pronounced 'mon-gay', which means 'astonishing') has an edible skin. It is reported that the edible skin tastes like a vegetable. It has a lettuce-like quality. Australian Chinese Daily Online reports that this banana variety is the result of long-term cultivation attempts by 68-year old Setsuzo Tanaka from Okayama, Japan. He spent 40 years to trying to perfect the plantation technique to produce this peculiar banana.

Banana seedlings first have to survive frost. Then they are thawed and planted again. The company D&T Farm calls this plantation technique "awakening after frost". This process causes the plant to quickly mature. The traditional two-year cultivation is shortened to only 6 months. The bananas quickly ripen, which causes the skin to remain thin and soft. This is how the edibility of the skin is achieved.

It is reported that this variety of banana is extremely sweet. The measured sugar content is 25.8 gr per 100 gr. In comparison, the mainstream bananas on the market only have a sugar content of 18 gr per 100 gr. The current price of this banana variety in Japanese department stores is 7 Australian dollars [5.48 USD] per piece. It is extremely expensive. Since the banana has to be grown directly from a seed, the weekly production volume is only 10 pieces.

Source: Australian Chinese Daily Online News

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