Have you ever wondered why some bananas have a hard center?
Your banana appears perfectly normal at first glance.
However, as soon as you bite into it, you find that the center is of a completely different consistency to the rest of the fruit.
As it turns out, the hard center is fairly common and is generally caused by how the banana was grown.
Allow me to reveal all.
There are various reasons that some bananas have a hard center. Bananas should be allowed to go dormant if grown in a non-tropical climate. However, the fruit becomes extremely sensitive to long periods of dormancy. Bananas can also become damaged if grown in temperatures below 60 degrees. The amount of damage caused will depend on how long it was exposed to these colder temperatures. This will typically render bananas drier and less flavorful and cause a hard center.
1. What Is an Extended Period of Dormancy?
We typically think of bananas as tropical fruit.
And this makes perfect sense as they tend to thrive in tropical regions.
Bananas grow best in a region that has an average temperature of 80F (27C).
Plus, a yearly rainfall of 78-98 inches.
Bananas are actually a perennial plant, and it will typically take 9-12 months from sowing to harvest.
Now, this is all well and good, but you can actually grow bananas in a non-tropical climate.
However, the plant will usually go through a period of dormancy during the colder winter months.
In order to prepare the bananas for what’s about to come, it’s advisable to cut back on watering and fertilizing during the growing season.
With that being said, bananas are sensitive to long periods of dormancy, and this will affect their quality when harvested.
So, a hard center could be a sign that your banana was grown in a non-tropical climate and left dormant for too long.
2. What Happens to Bananas in Cooler Growing Temperatures?
I have touched on this above, but I want to cover this in a little more detail.
As obvious as it sounds, warmer temperatures will produce better-quality bananas.
However, bananas can grow in slightly cooler temperatures and still taste great.
But there is a cut-off point.
If banana plants are kept in an area where temperatures don’t fall below 60F, everything should be fine.
Plus, they will still need to be exposed to light.
As long as they can maintain these conditions, they won’t go dormant, and they will continue to grow and thrive.
Albeit growth will be slightly slower, this won’t impact the quality.
However, if the temperature falls below 50F, the bananas will go dormant.
As I’ve mentioned, this isn’t specifically an issue, but the longer the bananas remain dormant, the more this will affect their quality.
Bananas grown in cold weather will have no apparent signs of physical damage.
Springtime will come, and the bananas will mature, look great and be ready for harvesting.
Unfortunately, it’s not until you taste them that it becomes obvious that the fruit has been exposed to cold and a longer period of dormancy.
And this will explain why your banana has a hard center.
3. Is it a Manzano Banana?
The “hard center” appears to be especially prevalent in Manzano bananas.
A Manzano banana is most notable for its appearance and taste.
They are short and chubby, often referred to as the apple banana due to their sweet taste.
This delicious dessert banana has the hint of an apple or strawberry flavor when immature, whereas it is more reminiscent of pineapple flavor when fully ripened.
However, the yellow skin of a Manzano banana turns completely black when it is ripe.
With that being said, they are generally harvested when green and allowed to ripen during shipping.
Manzano is native to tropical countries.
These include the Caribbean, Central, and South America, as well as Mexico.
They also happen to be extremely popular in Asian, African, and Latin American cuisine.
And this is where the problem often lies.
Due to their overwhelming popularity, Manzano’s are often grown in non-tropical climates.
So, in effect, they once again have to go through a stage of dormancy and much colder temperatures.
And this is why Manzano’s often have a hard center.
Manzano Banana Tasting
Hopefully, you have a better understanding of why some bananas have a hard center.
This is due to the temperatures at which they’ve grown.
Once the temperature falls below 50F, the bananas will go dormant.
The longer they are left dormant, the greater the impact on quality and flavor.
So, now you know why to check the box and see where your bananas were grown.
And while you are shopping for your favorite fruit snack, here’s some advice on whether you can break off individual bananas from the bunch!