If you think you know everything about bananas, you might be bananas.
Thanks to the Japanese agricultural research company D&T Farm, banana-lovers can now enjoy the entire fruit — peel included.
The Mongee banana, as it's called, is created through a very precise growing and harvesting process that involves careful temperature monitoring.
D&T Farm's spokesman Tetsuya Tanaka told the NY Post that the special bananas are actually grown in an environment that is kept at negative 75 degrees (versus the normal 80 degrees found in most tropical climes where bananas are grown), then the fruit is thawed and replanted.
This method, called "freeze thaw awakening," reportedly mimics Earth's cold climate of 20,000 years ago, encouraging plant's very rapid growth, the ability to grow in cooler temperatures and, in this case, a very thin, edible peel. According to the Independent, most banana plants take "about two years to grow to full maturity but the Mongee bananas grow in about four months."
But are these bananas any better for you than the variety with a thicker peel?
D&T Farm's website claims that the Mongee banana peel may contain tryptophan, which some studies claim aids in the creation of serotonin, vitamin B6 and magnesium.
The company recommends waiting until brown spots start to appear on the peel, then just cutting the whole thing into slices and enjoying the fruit piece by piece.
So how does it taste? A taste tester from Japan's Rocket News 24 tried the banana and said the skin is quite thin, relatively flavorless, and easy to eat without any noticeable "strange texture." The site also noted that the banana is very sweet, with a pineapple-like odor and a "very strong tropical flavor."
Currently, D&T only provides 10 Mongee bananas a week to one department store, Tenmaya Okayama, in Japan. Since they're so rare, of course they're not cheap: one banana retails for about $5.75.
However, banana lovers stateside may actually be able to try the the super-sweet Mongee — just not anytime soon. Tanaka told the NY post, “We are also considering export [to the US], but it is likely [to take a while]."