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What Is The Main Fruit In Jamaica
Bananas, Bananas, Bananas!

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history_of_banana_in_jamaicaWhat Is The Main Fruit In Jamaica | Green Bananas

by Kesha Stewart | Associate Writer

What is the main fruit of Jamaica? This is a little mind-boggling because without trying too hard the average Jamaican can name more than fifty popular tropical fruits consumed right here in Jamaica.

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Yes living in the tropics has a lot of benefits, perhaps they may be too numerous to mention. However, living in Jamaica is a gift all by itself.

The sheer variety of fruits available all year round is astounding for a place so small and wouldn't you like to know what is the main Jamaican fruit? Well, let's go ahead and find out together.

ripe_banana_in_jamaica_wellesleyRipe Bananas

The fruit plates so generously portioned and served on the island daily often include a sampling of ripe banana, papaya, watermelon, pineapple and orange. Many though prefer to just grab a ripe banana or an orange.

However, if most Jamaicans are to choose a single fruit, then in that case they would settle for a ripe banana. Although bananas are consumed in both green and ripe phases, the green one is used as a staple and has no trace of the sweetness and distinctive flavour, colour or aroma of a ripe banana.

At least one variety of bananas came to Jamaica courtesy of the French. A botanist named Jean Francois Pouyat gifted us with the Gros Michel.

There are many other varieties of bananas in Jamaica. Among them is Lacatan, the famous bumpy banana (also called honey banana in some parts of the island), the burgundy-coloured monkey banana, a dwarfed variety called Chinese (Chiney) and the not-so-aesthetically appealing Frog (froggie) are among the most common.

The type of banana you are eating will have nuances in flavour, texture and the way it smells. How long it takes to mature and ripen and whether or not it can be eaten green? The tree is also distinctive in a variety if you have a trained eye, it may be the shape of the leaves, the colour of the stalk or even the height of the actual tree.

The versatile banana is packed with much more than flavour, it is really good for you. And not only is it heavily used on the island, it is on the list of most exported products in Jamaica.

jamaican_banana_bread_recipeBanana Bread

We Include it in our smoothies, punches, shakes, bakes, fruit salads, with our cereal and even in our famous stamp and-go. Also as mentioned before, while it is still green, it is a staple when cooking provisions or โ€œboiled foodโ€ and making banana porridge, a favourite at breakfast time.

Typically bananas will be available at the resort you are staying but if you prefer to get them yourself the markets, supermarkets, fruit vendors and even some grocery shops will have bananas for you.

Ripe bananas have many nutrients and health benefits. Seven (6) of them are listed below:

  • Contributes to improved blood sugar levels.
  • Supports the digestive system.
  • Aids in weight loss by helping you feel fuller longer.
  • Supports heart health.
  • Rich in antioxidants.
  • Promotes regularity

Some of the more creative cooks are finding non-traditional ways to utilize the ripe banana. For instance one of my friends did a demonstration on how to use banana peels to make a cake.

She simply blends the peels with some of her liquid ingredients until it's smooth and then combines them with the other common ingredients. It was a hit. Sources say that bananas can be used to replace oil, butter or even eggs in most baked goods.

Over the years I have seen people consume ripe bananas in different interesting ways like mashing them and using it as a spread for bread, bun or bulla.

Here is one variation of a traditional way to use your ripe bananas.

Jamaican Tropical Banana Surprise Recipe


  • 1 medium-sized dry coconut
  • 125 grams (approx) pineapple
  • 100 ml pineapple juice
  • 2 medium-sized ripe bananas
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • ยฝ tsp vanilla or rosewater (optional)
  • A dash of white rum (very optional)


  1. Extract the juice (milk) from the coconut to yield approximately 150ml and set aside
  2. Cut up the pineapple into chunks
  3. Cut up the bananas into slices
  4. Pour the coconut milk into a blender and add the pineapple and banana and the pineapple juice. Begin blending at low speed gradually increasing to medium. Blend until smooth. Add the white rum, vanilla/rosewater and bled for a few seconds. Chill in the refrigerator. Garnish with nutmeg when serving.
  5. You can change the consistency by adding more liquid ingredients or (if you're like me), pouring it over crushed ice.

If you prefer you may freeze the banana and pineapple before blending and serve your smoothie without chilling. This should yield 2-3 generous servings.

I might consider bananas as the main fruit in Jamaica, but you might think it is one of the other top 8 fruits that Jamaicans can't seem to get enough of.

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References & Sources For What Is The Main Fruit In Jamaica?

  1. (no date) Google search. Google. Available at: (Accessed: December 30, 2022).
  2. Heather (2022) 7 of the healthiest and most delicious ways to use bananas ..., All Women's Talk. Available at: (Accessed: December 30, 2022).

What Is The Main Fruit In Jamaica? | Written: December 30, 2022

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