Kluthuk or Batu Banana

Ark of taste
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The Kluthuk banana, often also called Batu banana, is a kind of unique banana in Indonesia notable for the large quantity of seeds in the fruits’ flesh. This banana originates from East Java, and the name Kluthuk comes from the sound that occurs when it consumed, from the crunching of the many seeds in the fruit flesh. One bunch of Kluthuk bananas contains 8-10 rows with 13-16 individual fruits in each row. The fruit is approximately 15 cm long with whitish-yellow flesh and a large number of seeds inside. This large quantity of seeds means that the fruit is rarely consumed fresh, despite its relatively sweet taste.  

The use of the ripe fruit is limited, but the young fruits are used to make rujak, a traditional Indonesian dish resembling a spicy fruit salad. The astringent properties caused by tannins in the young fruits’ flesh can neutralize the effect of the hot and sour taste of rujak’s raw ingredients, creating a more balanced dish. In addition, the Kluthuk banana leaves are firmer than other varieties, and so are used as packaging for many traditional Javanese foods. The leaves give off a particular aroma when exposed to the heat of the foods they are holding.  

Kluthuk bananas grow well in Indonesia’s tropical climate, with lots of sunlight and rainfall. Despite this, the banana is not widely commercially grown because the less attractive fruits are not used as much as other banana varieties. Intrest in traditional foods making use of the bananas is also decreasing. Therefore, Kluthuk bananas are rarely found sold at fruit markets, and generally are only found sold as part of already prepared dishes of rujak. 

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East Java