Friday, December 10, 2010

Winter Banana **

Besides the blush, this apple is really two-toned: a banana yellow (sure enough) tinged a little with green, and a distinctly green-yellow hue. Flecked with brown lenticels, the resemblance to the long tropical fruit is clear, if not necessarily obvious.

The blush is small, a light pink whose translucency, over the yellow, makes a peachy orange. The general effect is striking.

The apple runs medium to large and is ribbed and slightly conical. The skin is naturally waxy. A week off the tree it is firm and has a sweet grassy fragrance.

Banana's flesh is dense and hard, a medium-fine-grained creamy light yellow. The texture makes for a very crisp mouthful.

WB's flavors are mild and balanced with very little tartness or acidity. These are succulent and fruity, with pear notes and a little spice. The peel is chewy.

I do not find any banana, by the way.

Warning: This is a hard, dense apple. I like that but not everyone does.

Here's another Winter Banana with a blush, this one from Tower Hill.

I've stashed a few of these away to see how they do over time. The texture reminds me a little of another long keeper, and the flavor might improve with age. (Update: Here's my report on that.)

Tower Hill puts Winter Banana's birthplace at Adamsboro, Indiana about 1876. Many sources report a banana flavor or aroma; others do not.


  1. I am growing this type of apple(new this year) as it is a good pollinator. I also planted Liveland Raspberry, Burgandy and Westfield Seek no further. All planted this year, so it will be awhile.

    1. I wish I could find a few of these this year. Good luck with your orchard.

  2. We had winter bananas when I was a kid. They were designated "keepers" in the old days. You put them aside and then they softened--by January/February--something to eat during the long upstate NY winters. Thanks for posting!

    1. Juliet, thanks for stopping by!

      These are still pretty welcome in January. I wish I'd found some this year.

  3. I find the description "a hard, dense apple" completely baffling. Ours are soft and mushy unless picked early and under ripe. Flavor's fantastic, fruity, and unique, but wife hates the soft texture, so they're all mine.


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