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Pisang Mas Bananas
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Pisang Mas bananas are small, squat, and straight to slightly curved in shape, averaging 2-3 centimeters in diameter and 10-14 centimeters in length. The tiny banana’s thin peel is green when immature and a vibrant yellow when ripe. The soft inner flesh matches the golden yellow hue of the outer skin and has a fruity aroma when peeled. Pisang Mas bananas are creamy and smooth with a sweet, honey-like taste.
Pisang Mas bananas are available year-round.
Pisang Mas bananas, botanically classified as Musa acuminate, are one of the most popular banana varieties in Southeast Asia. Also known as Lady Finger bananas, Sugar bananas, Sucrier, Terema, Senorita, Monkey bananas, Niños, Bocadillos, Fig bananas, and Date bananas, Pisang Mas translates from Malay as the golden banana and it grows on a flowering plant rather than a tree. Pisang Mas bananas are known for their unique small size, sweet flavor, and lack of discoloration when sliced.
Pisang Mas bananas are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. They are also high in minerals such as manganese, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.
Pisang Mas bananas are most popularly consumed raw but can also be used in cooked applications such as sautéing and baking. Sliced and used in fruit salads or peeled and consumed fresh as a snack, Pisang Mas bananas are favored for their ability not to turn brown when sliced. They can also be sautéed and caramelized as a topping for desserts and are commonly incorporated into stews and curries for added sweetness. Pisang Mas bananas pair well with chilies, coconut, ginger, shallot, curry leaves, milo powder, and yogurt. Pisang Mas bananas will keep up to a week when stored in a cool and dry place away from sunlight.
China is one of the largest exporters of bananas in Asia, but it also has to import bananas from the Philippines to meet the increasing demand from its population of 1.3 billion people. Pisang Mas bananas are one of the most expensive and most popular varieties in China. In an effort to meet the growing Chinese market demand, there are new farms in Laos that are using crowdfunding practices with tokens similar to cryptocurrency to start up organic banana farms that can export Pisang Mas bananas to China.
Bananas, like the Pisang Mas, are native to Southeast Asia and were spread to Africa in the 5th century and the Caribbean in the 16th century via trade routes and exploration. Today Pisang Mas bananas are commonly found in local markets in Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and can also be found in markets in tropical regions of Africa, South America, and Central America.