Banana Flower (Dok Kluai) / Banana Blossom / Banana Heart
Explore, December 11, 2009 #290
The banana flower is a large, dark purple-red blossom that grows from the end of a bunch of bananas. Its sizable bracts, or leaves, snugly enclose delicate, sweetly scented male flowers. The female flowers, which do not require fertilization to become fruit, grow farther up the stem from the male flowers.
The banana flower is treated in several Asian and tropical cuisines as a vegetable. It is known in Japan as banana no tsubomi, in Thailand as dok kluai, in Indonesia as jantung pisang, in China as shang chao fua, in Sri Lanka as kehel mal, and in India as kere kafool. The words “banana flower” are variously translated as “banana blossom,” “banana heart,” due to its physical resemblance to that organ, or “plantain blossom.”
Once the tougher, darker outer bracts are pulled away, the paler and more tender inner leaves are used in a number of dishes, prepared in a variety of ways. A fresh, tender banana flower may be sliced and served raw, as in Thailand, where it is often accompanied by the hot and spicy dip called nam prik. It is also served simmered in soup or fried with thin noodles.
Reprocessing from a RAW file for Getty with my far superior processing skills :D