Sunday, September 26, 2010

World's Top Banana?

My neighbor checks on the Top Banana
I don't know a whole lot about bananas.  When I was growing up, I thought that there was only one type since we could buy only Honduran, Panamanian or Ecuadoran bananas.  Then I went to the South Pacific and discovered that there is more than one variety, and that bananas are moist when fresh, not dry like those that have been picked green and shipped thousands of miles.

In Malaysia, we have seen and eaten a range of bananas, but mostly prefer the smaller ones that are only 7-8 centimeters long.  But this week, while walking past the house of my agriculturally-industrious neighbor, I saw him reach up and check on a clump of Very Large Bananas, the largest that I have ever seen.  He was impressed that I was so impressed, so he promised to give me the largest one when it was nearly ripe (yellow).  I received it this evening, and the thing measures over 30 centimeters in length (~12 inches), with a diameter of 5.5 cm.  This would give it a banana-volume of around 700 cm3!  (More than half a liter of banana!)  Which brings up an interesting question: What is (was) the world's largest banana?

30 centimeters in length; 5.5 cm in diameter (700 cm3) says that the world's longest banana is two feet, but gives no source, photos, or other information.  Other websites list the largest man-made banana replicas, and biggest banana splits, most extensive collections of banana memorabilia, and leading banana-exporting nations, but not the World's Top Banana.  So, readers; do I have the record in my hands?
The Top Banana?

I was informed by a Malay colleague that what I hold in my hands is a pisang tanduk.  Tanduk is the word for horn (like those on a water buffalo).  Here is a link to a description of pisang tanduk.  There are other websites, in Bahasa Malaysia (Malay), and if you use Google Chrome as your internet browser, you can get rapid translations into English of any web page.

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