In Guatemala one finds as the picture shows a small version of the Banana one would find in a Super Market in the rest of the world.

I understand from the Mayan view they call these little Bananas, Manzanita not a term related to a Banana meaning small.

The Guatemalan Little Bananas as I have coined them are amazing in taste and are great for cooking in any recipe. They last a long time and have an almost creamy vanilla flavor to them. You will find these Bananas are plentiful at fresh markets through out Guatemala and most Central American Countries.

I am far from a Banana expert. I know what my mouth tells me and when we return to Canada each year I am faced with Bananas that have been gassed with ethylene to control the ripening process. They just have no taste.

Export bananas are picked green, and ripen in special rooms upon arrival in the destination country. These rooms are air-tight and filled with ethylene gas to induce ripening. The vivid yellow color normally associated with supermarket bananas is in fact a side effect of the artificial ripening process.

During the ripening process, bananas produce a plant hormone called ethylene, which indirectly affects the flavor. Among other things, ethylene stimulates the formation of amylase, an enzyme that breaks down starch into sugar, influencing the taste of bananas.

The greener, less ripe bananas contain higher levels of starch and, consequently, have a “starchier” taste. On the other hand, yellow bananas taste sweeter due to higher sugar concentrations. Furthermore, ethylene signals the production of pectinase, an enzyme which breaks down the pectin between the cells of the banana, causing the banana to soften as it ripens.

Guatemala Banana Smoothie Cocktail Recipe

2   whole Bananas
3   cups Ice
1   cup Milk or Vanilla Yogurt
1/2   whole Lemon to squeeze
1   Tbsp. Honey
1 Shot Ron Zacapa Rum

Guatemala Banana Smoothie Recipe
Pour all ingredients in blender pouring ice in last. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until smoothie thickens.
* Brown bananas work well for smoothies; however, you can use less ripe bananas, too, such as yellow bananas with brown flecks.

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