A banana is a banana is a banana, right? I used to think that when I lived on the mainland (contiguous 48 U. S. states), but when I moved to Hawaii I learned different. Hawaii has: plantains, commercial bananas, baby commercial bananas, organic bananas, ice cream banana and apple bananas. Of the them all, apple bananas are my favorite. 

Apple bananas are "local" fare. They're smaller, firmer, and slightly orange-red when bitten into. They have a crisp, clean taste (the way apples do) with no hint of chalkiness like commercial bananas. Many are organic but not all. Interesting, no body cares about the distinction with apple bananas. 

Oh, and ice cream bananas? They are about the same length as apple bananas though the best tasting ones in my opinion are shorter and thicker. They're milder and smoother tasting, like ice cream with a hint of banana. Dip them in chocolate syrup and you've a real treat. Still, apple bananas without anything added are the best. 

Speaking of bananas, they are farmed and grow wild on the island. If one examines the hillsides, every so often one can see a clump of banana trees, usually nearby a small field of sugar cane, and some irregular rocks, the remains of an ancient Hawaiian dwelling site. I've been told in ancient times they were one of the "male" foods, strictly forbidden to women. Looking at the fruiting part of a banana tree, it is most obvious. The stalk is long and gently down-curving -- the bananas grow up along the stalk, and the tip is a deep-purple flower. 

Maybe I've said too much about bananas. Maybe not. Their sweet ripe smell is one of the smells of the islands like the syrupy sweet smell of the plumeria (on other islands frangiapanni) flowers, the tangy smell of guava fruit and, of course, in summer the outrageously pungent smell of ripe Hayden mangoes. 

It's time for me to stop blogging before I go bananas --