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Cooking bananas are banana cultivars in the genus Musa whose fruits are generally used in cooking. They may be eaten ripe or unripe and are generally starchy. Many cooking bananas are referred to as plantains (/ˈplæntɪn/, /plænˈteɪn/, /ˈplɑːntɪn/) or green bananas. In botanical usage, the term "plantain" is used only for true plantains, while other starchy cultivars used for cooking are called "cooking bananas". True plantains are cooking cultivars belonging to the AAB group, while cooking bananas are any cooking cultivar belonging to the AAB, AAA, ABB, or BBB groups. The currently accepted scientific name for all such cultivars in these groups is Musa × paradisiaca. Fe'i bananas (Musa × troglodytarum) from the Pacific Islands are often eaten roasted or boiled, and are thus informally referred to as "mountain plantains", but they do not belong to any of the species from which all modern banana cultivars are descended.
|Species||Musa × paradisiaca|
|Hybrid parentage||M. acuminata × M. balbisiana|
|Cultivar group||Cultivars from a number of groups, including the AAA Group, the AAB Group and the ABB Group|
|Origin||primary: Southeast Asia; secondary: West Africa; tertiary: Latin America and the Caribbean|
Cooking bananas are a major food staple in West and Central Africa, the Caribbean islands, Central America, and northern South America. Members of the genus Musa are indigenous to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Oceania. Bananas fruit all year round, making them a reliable all-season staple food.
Cooking bananas are treated as a starchy fruit with a relatively neutral flavor and soft texture when cooked. Cooking bananas may be eaten raw; however, they are most commonly prepared either fried, boiled, or processed into flour or dough.
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