Pisang Susu, Pisang Raja Sereh
The susu banana (of the species Musa sativa L.) is one over 300 Indonesian banana varieties. It is often served as a table banana, and has a pleasant aroma and taste. It’s name, pisang susu, literally means “milk banana.” It is adapted to a variety of conditions, and grows particularly well on the island of Java, especially in the district of Pituruh, which supplies 40% of the banana production in the area. The tree on which it grows reaches 1.5-2 m tall with a trunk diameter of 36 cm. It usually has seven leaves which are green in color, and long and thin. It usually takes about 13 months between planting and when the tree first flowers. Bananas can be harvested about 5 months later. Susu bananas are small in size with a yellowish-white pulp, covered by a thin yellow peel with black spots. Individual trees produce an average of 8 bunches of bananas, containing 12-16 bananas per bunch. The bunches reach up to 50 cm long and weigh 12-16 kg. Susu bananas are a good source of folic acid, phosphorus and calcium. This particular cultivar was developed for its sweet taste, and creamy or milky and seedless pulp. This banana is still regularly found in traditional markets in Indonesia, and are eaten both as an everyday variety and during festivities, such as weddings, house building and in religious ceremonies. Although it is still found at smaller and more informal markets, susu bananas cannot be found in the larger markets and supermarkets that have appeared in Indonesia. These supermarkets tend to only stock a handful of commercial banana varieties, particularly the ubiquitous Cavendish. This commercial variety has been developed for its uniform appearance and high yield. Traditional varieties like susu, however, may be less productive but are more unique in their consistency and taste.