Thursday, 22 November 2012

Fiji’s Bananas

All bananas belong to the genus Musa of the family Musaceae. Bananas are tropic plant that has long been a main stay of Fiji’s subsistence and economy.

All Fiji bananas have a taste far superior to that of insipid artificially ripened kinds that make it to the supermarkets of temperate climes.

To tribute this specific fruit, Fiji Post Limited issued a set of four stamps feature four type of banana on September 23 , 2008. The Fiji’s bananas depicted on stamps are Jaina or Musa sapientum, Jaina senikau or Musa velutina, Liganimarama or lady-fingers, and  Vudi or Musa AAB.
Jaina or Musa sapientum

This banana originated in China. In 1848 introduced by the London Missionary Society to various islands of the Pacific including Tonga and Fiji.

The veimama variety of this banana was one that regularly exported to New Zealand during the twentieth century.

Jaina senikau or Musa velutina

Jaina senikau is ornamental banana , probably of Indian origin. It has bright pink inedible fruit that stand erect, unlike most bananas which droop.

Jaina senikau is fairly recent introduction in Fiji. It is found in some gardens and has spread to rainforest in various places, including Taveuni, Ovalau, Wainibuka and Suva.

Liganimarama or lady-fingers

Liganimarama, also known as lady-fingers, as a variety of Musa AAA.

It was introduced in the late nineteenth century and have become very popular eating bananas. This banana have specific distinctive such as: short and plump (hence the name), thin skinned and easy to peel and deliciously sweet.

Vudi or Cooking banana

The $2 stamp shown the mami, one of the Vudi’s variety. Vudi, also known as Cooking banana,   is   an   introduced banana  from aboriginal, and  have cultivated up to  thirty varieties  in Fiji.

Despite being called ‘cooking bananas’, some varieties, such as the vudiwaiwai, are perfectly edible when ripe.

Vudi can be boiled or baked and eaten as a starch food, or made into fermented food (madrai) to be kept underground as emergency supplies, or cooked ripe and combined with grated coconut and coconut cream to make the delicious dessert vakasoso.

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