Bananas are already one of the most convenient fruits around, since they essentially have a built-in carrying case. Developed to make our life even easier, Japanese farmers have developed the “Mongee”, a banana with edible skin.
Most of the world’s bananas are grown in tropical temperatures that consistently hover around 27°C, but D&T Farms in southern Japan keeps its banana trees at an icy-60°C. Then, the farmers replant the trees in an 27°C environment. The result of the wildly different temperatures is enough to encourage the plants to jolt into a state of rapid growth, producing a banana with a peel that doesn’t entirely mature, making it thin, soft, and sweet enough to eat along with the regular part of the fruit.
This bizarre method of production is called “freeze thaw awakening,” and results in a banana with a perfectly edible—even delicious—peel. Supposedly, this is meant to imitate how plants grew during the ice age 20,000 years ago, and causes bananas to grow to full banana maturity in four months, instead of the normal two years. “Mongee,” by the way, is Japanese slang for “incredible”. Incredible indeed.
Despite growing incredibly fast, good luck finding the fruit even if you live in Japan. They’re only sold in one department store throughout the entire country. But, like all other fruit in the country, the Mongee banana isn’t cheap. A single piece of the fruit costs $5.75.