Banana flowers, purplish or maroon raindrop-shaped blossoms, are used in the cuisine of Southeast Asia and Central America. They are blossoms from banana trees and can grow into bananas. Like their fruits, banana blossoms are also edible but their taste is nothing like banana’s. Banana flowers are packed with nutrients such as potassium, iron, calcium, vitamins A and C, minerals, and fatty acid content.
We prepared banana flower salad from a recipe adapted from Food Network. After peeling off its tough outer leaves called bracts, we cut the silky heart into thin slices and immediately put them in a bowl of white vinegar to avoid oxidation. After few minutes, we transferred banana flower strips into a separate salad bowl with an assortment of green vegetables, avocado, and sliced chicken.
The banana flowers taste fresh without obvious flavor, a little like lettuce but even milder than it. Its freshness and the seemingly insipidity make it perfect for salad ingredient since it can easily blend well with the dressing and other foods in the salad. I especially liked its crunchiness and the hint of lemon sourness in it, which added a lovely mixture of texture and tanginess.