Home Articles 17 Types of Bananas (Different Varieties)

17 Types of Bananas (Different Varieties)

As you might’ve guessed, this list is about the different types of bananas. And believe it or not, there are a bunch!  

In fact, in the *almost* words of Gwen Stefani, this list is bananas… B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Healthy Organic Yellow Banana Slices

Bananas are fantastic.

Obviously, they’re delicious, but they’re incredibly healthy, too. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, it’s no wonder they’re so popular with gym-goers. 

Plus, from a quick snack to sweet banana desserts, pies, and more, they’re pretty darn versatile.

And you’ll find delicious banana dishes all around the world. 

So let’s check out the different types of bananas so you can pick the right one.

17 Types of Bananas

Bananas come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. There are thousands of varieties, but today, I’m talking about 17 of the best. 

Each one of these varieties falls into one of two categories: dessert or cooking bananas. 

  • Dessert bananas, as the name implies, tend to be sweeter. So, they’re better for eating fresh or baked into sweet treats, like banana bread.
  • Cooking bananas are more savory and great for dinner dishes! They’re starchy, kind of like potatoes, and totally delicious.

No matter how you peel them, all of these bananas are delectable! 

Types of Dessert Bananas

Bunch of Red Bananas

1. Red Bananas

Maybe it’s their red color or their raspberry-like taste, but these are a must-try! Red bananas are sweet and delectable. 

Many say they’re sweeter than common yellow bananas (we’ll get to those later).

And they definitely have a higher content of vitamins and nutrients. 

So that makes them absolutely fantastic for eating fresh!

Cavendish Bananas

2. Cavendish

Here’s the dish on Cavendish bananas.

They’re the ones you probably know best! At least if you live in the West. They’re yellow, sweet, and totally delicious.

Cavendish bananas are the bananas you’ll find at your average grocery store.

They make amazing parfaits, smoothies, cream pies, and banana bread.

And they’re perfect for snacking on the go or making peanut butter and banana sandwiches. 

Blue Java Bananas

3. Blue Java

If you’ve tried to make healthier food choices lately, you’ve probably heard of nice cream.

You can find recipes all over the internet. And most of them contain bananas. 

Well, blue java bananas are the bananas to use! And it’s because they taste exactly like vanilla ice cream. So, they’re perfect. 

They get their name from their silvery-blue peel. They’ll ripen to a light yellow.

When they’re ready to eat, they have an amazingly smooth and creamy texture. 

Goldfinger Bananas

4. Goldfinger

The name’s Banana… James Banana.

Goldfingers are extremely hardy, and they survive a lot, kind of like James Bond.

They don’t turn brown, and they have a super sweet flavor. They’re amazing fresh or in desserts. 

Though these bananas may not be as well known as the spy movie, they’re fabulous. And you have to try them! 

Manzano Bananas

5. Manzano 

“I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas!” Well, with Manzano bananas, you sort of get them in the same fruit.

They have an apple-like flavor that is simply amazing. 

They’re also a lot stubbier than your average bananas. So, they also kind of look like apples, hence their name. 

Gros Michel Bananas

6. Gros Michel

Gros Michel translates to Big Michael, which makes sense because they have a big flavor!

In fact, they probably taste the most banana-y of the bananas on this list. 

So, that makes them delicious! 

Lady Finger Bananas

7. Lady Finger

Contrary to the large size of the Gros Michel, Lady Finger bananas are quite small.

So small, in fact, that they’re sometimes called baby bananas. But their flavor is larger than life!

Lady fingers taste incredibly sweet, like honey.

They’re practically dessert on their own. But, they make really delicious banana cakes! 

Mysore Bananas

8. Mysore

Wanna hear something confusing but fascinating? Bananas are berries, but raspberries are not.

And Mysore bananas taste like raspberries, so they’re berries that taste like a non-berry. 

And they look like your average banana. 

Praying Hands Bananas

9. Praying Hands

Named for the unique way in which they grow, praying hands are an interesting cultivar.

They’re actually used as both a dessert and cooking banana. 

On their own, they’re not that sweet. However, they do have a wonderful vanilla flavor.

That makes them perfect for baking or flambéing. Hello, Bananas Foster!

They also happen to be extremely nutritious, which is always an added bonus. 

Types of Cooking Bananas (or Plantain)

Orinoco Bananas

10. Orinoco

Orinoco bananas, otherwise known as burro bananas, are extremely versatile, like praying hands.

They look a bit like Cavendish bananas, only less round. 

When they’re unripe, Orinocos are used for cooking.

They’re starchy like potatoes and make really delicious sweet and savory dishes. They go very well with pork dishes! 

But when they’re ripe, they can be eaten raw. Though, they are nowhere near as soft as dessert bananas.

They have a slight lemon flavor and they’re quite tasty. 

They’re much better for cooking, though. 

Fehi Bananas

11. Fehi

If “F” is for fire, then these bananas got it right.

They’re not spicy, but their color is gloriously orange-red. And a whole bunch looks like an upside-down campfire. 

Fehi bananas are also extremely good for your health.

They’re chock-full of potassium, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals. 

They should be baked or boiled before they are eaten. Otherwise, they have a very harsh and unpleasant flavor.

Though, some brave souls eat them raw for their nutritional bioavailability. 


12. Bluggoe

This funny-named banana is seriously savory. And totally tasty! Some say it tastes like salmon. 

They have a great texture, much like potatoes.

That makes them incredibly hearty. So, this is a fantastic meat alternative for vegans! 

Macho Plantain

13. Macho Plantain

If you see plantains in your local store, they’re most likely macho plantains.

Macho plantains are commonly grown in Florida, so they’re very popular in the States.

And for good reason! They’re delicious!

Macho plantains are a little sweet and a little sour. They fry amazingly well, but I love them grilled.

Oh, and plantains are incredibly good for you!

They’re loaded with vitamin C and other antioxidants. So, regular consumption can guard against cancers, heart disease, and skin aging.

If you’re unsure how to prepare these delicious plantains, look to Caribbean cuisines.

Cuban, Haitian, Jamaican, and Puerto Rican recipes are a great starting point. 

And if you’re curious about plantains vs. bananas, just follow the link for more info!

Pisang Raja Bananas

14. Pisang Raja

One of my absolute favorite street/take-out foods is pisang goreng or fried bananas.

And that Indonesian treat (which you MUST try) is traditionally made with pisang raja.

Pisang rajas are cooking bananas that are actually pretty sweet.

They have a honey-like flavor. Honestly, they could be dessert bananas, and some lists do classify them that way. 

I classify them as cooking bananas because they really need cooking to be enjoyed properly.

And dessert bananas are yummy raw while these are less so. 

Barangan Bananas

15. Barangan Bananas 

Barangan bananas are delicious, mildly sweet bananas that come from Southeast Asia. They taste scrumptious fried or baked! 

As with most bananas, they are loaded with fiber and potassium. So, they are quite healthy! 

You know when they’re ready when they start dressing in black polka dots.  

Dwarf Jamaican Bananas

16. Dwarf Jamaican

Dwarf Jamaican bananas are one of the more stunning banana varieties.

They begin yellow-green but ripen to an almost purple-red, with oranges and reds in between. 

So, they’re kind of beautiful, but they’re also delicious!

They have a sweet, raspberry-like flavor that makes them perfect for most dishes. They’re also pretty yummy when fresh. 

However, they are best baked into desserts or turned into nice cream. 

As a bonus, their leaves are great for using to grill meat.  

Rhino Horn Bananas

17. Rhino Horn

Many banana varieties are quite big, like the Gros Michel or the macho plantain.

And their names often indicate a bit about their characteristics. 

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

Rhino horn bananas are native to Africa, and they are huge! They can grow up to 2 FEET in length. Plus, they curve like a rhino horn. 

They are aptly named, I think. 

Rhino horn bananas are very versatile. They’re commonly eaten fried but can be eaten raw. But they’re also used as decor! 

17 Types of Bananas (Different Varieties)

Try these different types of bananas for fruit you’ll flip for! From red to goldfinger to rhino horn, each one is sure to delight.


  • Red Bananas

  • Cavendish

  • Blue Java

  • Goldfinger

  • Manzano

  • Gros Michel

  • Lady Finger

  • Mysore

  • Praying Hands

  • Orinoco

  • Fehi

  • Bluggoe

  • Macho Plantain

  • Pisang Raja

  • Barangan Bananas

  • Dwarf Jamaican

  • Rhino Horn


  • Select your favorite type of banana.
  • Try a fun and exciting new recipe.
  • Enjoy!
Types of Bananas

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author avatar
Haley van der Ploeg
Haley van der Ploeg is a food writer and content creator for Insanely Good Recipes, where she authors blog posts, creates recipes, and crafts tantalizing photos.

Haley is passionate about food and its ability to gather people across cultures, languages, and generations. She believes everyone can learn to cook.

Most days, you can find Haley reading, baking elaborate cakes, and hosting get-togethers for friends and family. If Haley isn't home, she’s probably on a plane jetting off to exciting adventures and new cuisines.

She lives with her husband in the Netherlands and has taught him that vegetables *can* taste good.

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