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What do bananas taste like? The short answer is that bananas taste sweet, but their flavor is much more complex. Some even taste like other foods!

What do bananas taste like

Did you know that the most consumed fruit in the US in 2021 is the banana? This isn’t surprising because bananas are delicious, easy to eat, readily available, and versatile for different recipes.

But have you ever wondered what bananas actually taste like?

Beyond sweet and slightly tangy, some bananas are reminiscent of other flavors like vanilla and berries. 

Let’s find out what influences the flavor profile of bananas and why the artificial fruit flavor does not taste like bananas.

What Are Bananas?

Bananas are elongated tropical fruits known for their distinct taste and scent. When you use bananas in a recipe, you can quickly detect their sweet flavor and fruity aroma.

They are also one of the most consumed fruits worldwide and are even ranked as the most traded fruit.

The Cavendish is the most common banana variety, but did you know there are more than 1,000 types of bananas?

banana flavor

You’ll surely want to try other banana varieties if you find out that they don’t look and taste like the bananas we see at the grocery!

For example, the Blue Java banana has a creamy texture similar to ice cream. There is also a variety called the Burro, a banana that tastes closer to a lemon when ripe.

What Do Bananas Taste Like?

So what do bananas taste like? Bananas range from sweet, tangy, or even bland, depending on the variety. The banana’s degree of ripeness will also dictate how sweet and mushy it will become.

You’ll notice that green or unripe bananas are bland and starchy compared to yellow or ripe bananas. Ripe bananas have a distinctly sweet flavor and scent that some relate to a melon.

Finally, the banana will taste the sweetest once it turns brown. Overripe bananas can even sometimes contain notes similar to rum and honey.

What Do Pink Bananas Taste Like?

Pink bananas subtly taste sweet and tangy, similar to raspberries. So next time you see these pretty bananas, do yourself a favor and try them because they really exist, and they taste delicious!

What Do Green Bananas Taste Like?

Green or immature bananas taste starchy, bland, and not as sweet as ripe, yellow ones. If the banana is too unripe, it tastes bitter and has an off-putting waxy texture.

What Do Red Bananas Taste Like?

Red bananas taste like your regular yellow bananas but are sweeter. They are also quite soft, with colors ranging from purple to brown, depending on the ripeness.

What Do Blue Java Bananas Taste Like?

Blue Java bananas taste sweet with a flavor similar to vanilla. Nicknamed the ice cream banana, the Blue Java is a must-try variety, not just because of its flavor but also to experience the delicious creamy consistency!

The Different Types of Banana Products

Fresh bananas

Fresh bananas are absolutely delicious, but they tend to ripen quickly. Drawing from my experience, it’s best to buy unripe bananas to have a longer time with them before they turn brown and mushy. 

Freeze-dried bananas

You can also enjoy freeze-dried bananas, which are crispy, sweet, and slightly tart. Try them with cereal or smoothies!

Banana chips

Next time you crave something crunchy, consider the healthier banana chips than potato crisps. They are easy to store and perfect for traveling because they don’t require freezing or refrigeration. 

Banana powder

Banana powder is a unique but creative way to enjoy bananas. You can use it on shakes, pancakes, and baked goods like muffins and cookies.

Chocolate-covered banana slices

One of the best pairings you can try is banana and chocolate. But since it can be too much work to prepare a chocolate dip, you might prefer these ready-to-eat frozen banana slices covered in dark chocolate!

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Why You Should Try Bananas

  • Affordable: Bananas are incredibly cheap, but they are filling and satisfying. You can eat them on their own, but they’re also versatile enough as additional ingredients to basic recipes like oatmeal and smoothies.
  • Healthy: Bananas are very nutritious and are excellent sources of fiber for digestion, potassium for heart health, and vitamin C, which is an antioxidant.
  • Tasty: Bananas are delicious, and you can choose between different varieties and degrees of ripeness to find your preferred taste and texture. The common Cavendish banana is good, but do your taste buds a favor and try other banana varieties!

How Healthy Is A Banana?

Bananas are healthy mainly because they’re an excellent source of potassium, which is necessary for the body to work properly.

This is because potassium is involved in ensuring the proper functioning of nerves and muscles, and it also regulates the heartbeat.

Perhaps it’s now time to start saying, “A banana a day keeps the doctor away!”

Furthermore, bananas are included in the BRAT diet, or bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.

This bland and easy-to-digest group of foods helps replete electrolytes if you experience diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. Aren’t bananas simply the best fruit? 

Where to Find Bananas

  • Marketplaces and groceries: Bananas are affordable and readily available in local markets and groceries. I advise buying the green ones since bananas ripen quickly.
  • Websites: You can also order bananas online from Amazon! But if you’re interested in other banana varieties, Etsy has Manzano bananas that taste similar to apples and Orinoco, which are soft and sweet.
what does a banana taste like

5 Best Substitutes For Bananas


If you want to make banana bread but don’t have bananas available, the next best thing is plantains. Plantain bread tastes and smells as good as classic banana bread!

Sweet potato

Bananas add sweetness and creaminess to smoothie recipes. But if you don’t have them, you can cook and mash sweet potatoes as a substitute. 


The creamy texture of avocados makes them a popular banana substitute, especially in baked goods. Just remember to add more sweeteners because they’re not as sweet.

Canned pumpkin

Besides avocado, you can substitute mashed bananas in your baked goods with canned pumpkin puree.

They have a similar consistency, but you might need to add more sweeteners to the recipe since pumpkin puree is not as sweet as bananas.


Vegans often use bananas to replace eggs in recipes like vegan brownies or cakes. With that in mind, you can substitute bananas with eggs using a ratio of one egg for every one banana in the recipe. 

Do Bananas Go Bad?

Bananas, like any other fruit, can go bad.

How many times have you brought home a slightly green bunch of bananas only for them to ripen quickly in just a few days?

Bananas are just one of those fruits you can’t buy in bulk because they have a short shelf life.

The good news is you can save yourself from frustration by buying green bananas.

From there, you have three to four days for the bananas to ripen. But if you buy yellow bananas, expect that you have one to two days for the best-eating texture and taste before they get too ripe.

How do you know when bananas are too ripe?

Bananas are too ripe even for baking if they are starting to ooze liquid. And if you want the best banana for eating, it should feel soft and not squishy.

Are overripe bananas safe to eat?

Overripe bananas that have turned brown or black are safe to eat, and they’re actually the best ones for banana bread! However, discard the overripe bananas if they smell fermented or mildewy.

Of course, bananas that also start to ooze liquid and have developed mold growth are likely rotten and should be thrown away.

How To Store Bananas

The best way to store bananas so they don’t brown quickly is to protect them from heat exposure and direct sunlight.

If they’re already ripe, put them in the fridge inside Ziploc bags to extend their shelf life.

What about opened or sliced bananas? They’re already exposed to air, so you should sprinkle them with some lemon juice to stop the enzymes responsible for the browning of bananas.

Can you freeze bananas?

Absolutely! Just peel the bananas and freeze them until solid before transferring them to a freezer bag.

One of my favorite snacks is frozen bananas because they remind me of ice cream. They’re satisfying enough to fix my cravings for sweets, and best of all, they last up to six months in the freezer!

You can also do the same freezing method for fresh banana slices. But for brown bananas, mash them first and portion them in freezer bags.

Recipes That Have Bananas In It

Before you go bananas, why don’t you try this easy banana granola recipe?

It’s quick, healthy, and absolutely delicious! It uses banana chips and banana extract, so you don’t need to stress about overripe bananas.

what to do with old bananas

Banana Granola

Yield: 6 cups granola
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Just when you thought breakfast couldn't get any more delicious... we present to you: Banana Granola! Crunchy granola mixed with juicy bananas – it's the perfect way to start your day.


  • 2.5 cups of oatmeal
  • 0.5 cups of oat flour
  • 0.5 cups of coconut
  • 0.5 cups of peanuts
  • 0.25 cups of flax seeds
  • 0.5 cups of almonds
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 0.5 tsp of kosher salt
  • 2 tsp of vanilla paste
  • 1 cup banana chips
  • 0.5 cups of chocolate drops (or chocolate chips)
  • 2 tsp of banana extract


For The Granola

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cereal, flour, crushed peanuts and almonds, coconut, flax seeds. Stir to combine, and set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, mix the brown sugar, butter, and coconut oil. Place over medium-high heat.
  5. Stir the saucepan occasionally, and when everything is melted and the mixture is bubbling, remove from the heat.
  6. Add the cinnamon, salt, vanilla bean paste and banana extract, and stir to combine.
  7. Pour the hot liquid over the oat mixture, and stir to combine thoroughly.
  8. Pour the granola onto the prepared baking sheet, and spread into an even layer.
  9. Bake the granola at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes are up, remove the sheet pan from the oven and break up the granola with a spatula, stirring it up and arranging it back into an even layer.
  10. Place in the oven for another 20 minutes, and then stir again.
  11. Repeat this process for approximately 1 hour, or until the granola is fairly dry, golden brown, and broken up into medium-sized pieces.
  12. Remove from the oven once golden brown, and allow to cool completely at room temperature.
  13. Once the granola is cool, stir again to break up any large chunks that may have formed. Stir in the banana chips and chocolate chips, if using.
  14. Transfer the granola to an airtight container, and store at room temperature until ready to use.
  15. The granola will keep at room temperature stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


* This recipe was originally published on 06/2013 by Jaclyn. Notes and photos updated 06/2022.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 362Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 161mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 4gSugar: 23gProtein: 6g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

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What To Eat Bananas With


Whip up a quick and nutritious fruit salad with banana slices and fresh strawberries! The tangy and juicy strawberries are just perfect with bananas.


Make your morning yogurt taste better with banana slices! You can also try this copycat Mcdonald’s yogurt parfait with bananas for an oh-so-delicious dessert.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter and banana are a classic combo for a reason. The two taste good together because of their texture contrast, and the rich and slightly salty peanut butter complements the sweet bananas.


Do you want a healthy and filling breakfast that’s also fuss-free to prepare? Try oatmeal with bananas and start your day with an easy fiber-rich breakfast!

How Do Bananas Taste So Good?

Bananas taste and smell so good because of the ester compound isoamyl acetate. While it sounds intimidating, it’s the flavorful and aromatic reason behind the complexity of bananas.

What Fruit Tastes Most Like A Banana?

Plantain is the fruit that is most similar to bananas.

Upon glance, plantains look like big bananas. However, the fruit is harder to peel and often cooked like a vegetable for the best taste and texture.

What’s excellent about plantains is they can be used in any stage of ripeness. Ripe plantains taste sweet, like bananas, while raw plantains are starchy and reminiscent of potatoes.

It’s hard not to love bananas because they taste absolutely delicious. But since you already know what bananas taste like in detail, why not read about what plantains taste like?

They have the closest flavor to bananas, and they’re often used as banana substitutes in various recipes!

FAQ About Bananas

Why do bananas make everything else taste like bananas?

Bananas make everything else taste like bananas because they produce isoamyl acetate. It’s why adding bananas to recipes gives them a noticeable banana taste that overpowers the other flavors. 

Why doesn’t artificial banana flavor taste like bananas?

The artificial banana flavor does not taste like an actual banana because it’s based on a no longer commercially available banana: the Gros Michel. This banana tastes sweeter than the Cavendish bananas we commonly get in stores nowadays.

Where does the fake banana flavor come from?

The fake banana flavor comes from the organic compound isoamyl acetate, naturally found in the actual fruit. However, this “fake” banana flavor doesn’t taste like a true banana to us because it’s not based on the bananas we commonly get in stores.


So what do bananas taste like?

Bananas taste sweet, slightly sour, and bland, depending on the variety and degree of ripeness.

Unripe bananas with green peel are usually starchy and have a bitter aftertaste compared to ripe or yellow bananas that are sweet.

banana taste

The Cavendish is the most common banana, but the artificial banana flavoring is based on the nearly-extinct Gros Michel banana. 

This is why the flavor of banana candies and other banana products does not taste like a real banana to us!

We’re more familiar with the commonly available Cavendish, which is less sweet and fragrant than the Gros Michel.

For more frequently asked questions, visit our index of food-related questions and answers. Here are a few suggestions for you:

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