We used to grow four banana varieties. The saba, latundan, lakatan and kwarenta dias or 40 days. It was trimmed down to only one now, the saba banana.
Latundan. It is the common round and short bananas commonly sold in public markets. Usually bright yellow with numerous dark red spots. Yellow with noticeable specs of green when rare ripe. Fully yellow and softer when fully ripe.
Kwarenta dias/40 days. They are saying that the number of days from shoot emergence to fruiting and to ripening is 40. The variety gathered its name from it. Not sure if it is true or not. It is not popular due to its relatively small size. A single peeled finger is only as big as adult man thumb.
Saba. We are calling it the lazy farmer’s crop. Why? The only hard part in management is planting. Then several new shoots will grow from its corm. The mother plant will bear fruits once. The several shoots will also grow and bear fruits and the cycle continues. The variety is resistant to competing weeds and pest. It requires minimal supervision. This saba banana is like a pot of gold.
Saba is a plantain or cooking banana. It can be eaten raw and ripe but it is best for making banana chips, ketchup, powder and vegetable dish garnish.
Lakatan. A banana variety similar to latundan. However, it is longer but thinner. The taste qualities are the same but lakatan never go yellow when ripe.
Buyers judge a ripe and delicious banana by its color. The green ripe banana is not appealing. Growing kwarenta dias was discontinued due to its very small sizes, obviously not profitable. Latundan was discontinued cause it is weak against pest and diseases. Lakatan was discontinued cause it is weak against pest and diseases plus it never go yellow when ripe.
I saw some fellow farmers harvesting extra large bananas. Mom said it was cavendish. They never want to plant it cause it never go yellow when ripe, just like lakatan variety.
Perhaps the yellow lakatan and cavendish for sale were treated with ethylene solution. A plant stress and ripening substance that can also induce breakdown of chlorophyll.