Besides boasting a solid dose of fiber and potassium, bananas rank atop our list of favorite fruits because they’re portable and we can just peel ‘em and enjoy—zero soaking and scrubbing required. Except there’s a new banana in town, and this one’s revolutionizing the way folks eat the fruit.
Japanese farmers recently created a new breed of banana, known as the Mongee banana. How is it so revolutionary, you may ask? Well, it boasts an entirely edible peel.
Scientists at D&T Farm in Okayama Prefecture discovered a way to produce a premature banana peel that’s thin, soft, and sweet enough to eat.Courtesy of D&T Farm
To achieve this botanical breakthrough, farmers employed a method known as “freeze-thaw awakening”—rather than genetic engineering—that requires banana trees to grow at an arctic -76 F, after which they are thawed and replanted in balmy 80 F weather. The extreme temperature spike allows the fruit to enter a state of rapid growth, resulting in the bananas’ edible peels that resemble the texture of lettuce.Courtesy of D&T Farm
According to the farm’s website, the Mongee banana peel contains sleep-inducing tryptophan, fatigue-fighting vitamin B6, and anxiety-banishing magnesium. Plus, this non-GMO, pesticide-free fruit packs in about 24.8 grams of sugar, deeming it sweeter than the banana you’re used to snacking on (a medium-sized regular banana contains around 14 grams of sugar).
Looking to grab a bunch at your local Whole Foods? Don’t expect to spot the Mongee in the produce section anytime soon. Just one market in Okayama sells only 10 fruits a week priced at about $6 per piece. Until the Mongee makes an appearance in the U.S., continue peeling back your bananas to reap these 21 Amazing Things That Happen to Your Body When You Eat Bananas.