Across a room, I’d definitely mistake them for a Cavendish. In Australia, scientists are attempting to “switch on” the gene that makes the Cavendish able to resist this particular blight. Her dream? Richer and sweeter than the modern Cavendish, the Gros Michel fell victim to an invading soil fungus that causes Panama disease, a form of Fusarium wilt. It’s possible that some Gros Michels under another name have slipped into a shipment of fruit from Thailand or Indonesia, therefore—and that’s what I’m banking on. It wasn’t always the case: The Gros Michel was once everywhere. Back to the drawing board. Anything that will wipe out one plant will kill them all. Biting into the banana of yesteryear, I expect a more intensely tropical flavor and the vivid sweetness of artificial isoamyl acetate banana flavor. (I don’t.) Back in Brooklyn, specialist fruit stores, markets and street vendors are all selling glossy Cavendishes, custard and green and as flawless as an emoji. A Chinese friend, hearing of my search for the banana in Chinatown, suggests that I look in New York’s Thai grocery stores instead, along bustling Woodside Avenue, in Queens. French naturalist Nicolas Baudin carried a few corms of this banana from Southeast Asia, depositing them at a botanical garden on the Caribbean island of Martinique. Gros Michel Banana Plants - RARE, USDA Cultivated - Gros Michel Banana Tree. Everyone who eats one over the following week agrees: This is a superior banana, with a creamier texture and a more delicious flavor. * It was a compromise, says Dan Koeppel, author of Banana, The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World. ... but still creamy. 'Gros Michel' came in second place (with a mean score of 5.7), ex aequo with three cultivars ('Prata Ana', 'Fougamou' and 'Mossi') and two Cirad hybrids (925 and 918). [10], The Gros Michel has a higher concentration of isoamyl acetate, the ester commonly used for "banana" food flavoring, than the Cavendish. We depend on ad revenue to craft and curate stories about the world’s hidden wonders. Most Gros Michel banana crops were destroyed by a fungus that hit worldwide in the 20th Century; when we buy bananas now they are the Cavendish variety. Sign up for our newsletter and enter to win a box of our favorite obscure snacks, from Mexican candies to Japanese bonito flakes. Banana flavored candies and such don't taste like bananas we buy which confuses most people. Artificial banana flavoring draws much of its … You have four options: Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). Ah, the elusive Gros Michel banana. When Eddie Cantor sings “Yes, We Have No Bananas,” it is Big Mike he’s singing about. However, a taste test has shown that the Gros Michel does closely resemble the artificial banana flavor: Rob Guzman, a Hawaiian banana farmer, has a … #1. #3. “It’s not a taste revelation,” Koeppel has warned me on the phone. Each costs about $2 a pop, which would get me at least a half-dozen at my local bodega. $19.90 $ 19. Flavor makers never saw the need to update it. I had a banana scented soap at the same time which I thought smelled like fake banana smell until I started eating the Gros Michel. The taste is considerably sweeter, and the consistency much creamier, with extremely narrow "seed areas" that you can see, but only vaguely taste. Legend has it that the reason artificial banana flavor tastes so strange is that the taste is actually based on the variety we used to eat, called the Gros Michel… It's difficult to find Gros Michel bananas in North America because they can't be produced commercially anymore due to a fun fungus called Panama disease. 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