One of the wonderful things about living in Turkey is the continuous supply of fresh, flavoursome fruit and vegetables and at this time of year, the markets are full of Turkish bananas or muz.
Sweet and delicate
Turkish bananas are smaller than their European counterparts but what they lack in size they more than make up for in flavour. Imported bananas may be bigger but don’t have the sweet aroma and delicate taste of the indigenous muz
The Anamur banana
Many towns and regions in Turkey are known for growing a certain type of fruit of vegetable and in Anamur (between Antalya and Mersin), the banana reigns supreme.
Banana plants love a spot with a view of the sea and banana plantations can be found all along the rugged coastline of Anamur. They like humidity as much as they do warm air which is why they grow well there.
During the month of August, if you happen to be walking by a banana plantation, you will hear strange sounds as the plants ‘give birth'( also called ‘giving branches by the locals). When the flowers break their outer crust to form banana clusters a noise is heard. The flowers bend towards the ground while the fruit sticks up to form the banana bunch. This process happens so quickly you can watch it happen.
Bananas are good for you but did you know that the banana flower is too? Click here for more on the health benefits.
Harvesting takes place between September and February and during this time there is an abundance of bananas at the markets, greengrocers (manav) and being sold at the side of the road.
How do you like yours?
We like our Anamur bananas sliced with locally produced yogurt, honey and almonds.
Delicious in a smoothie, Turkish style
Use up your ripe bananas in this walnut, date and honey cake
Next time you fancy a banana you’ll have to decide whether it’s size that matters or small, sweet and tasting of sunshine.
But then, you can always eat two!