Here's a place to go for all of your heirloom banana needs

I was lucky enough to eat dinner in a fancy restaurant in Los Angeles the other night, and one of the dishes I had was described on the menu as including "heirloom bananas." I asked the server about the heirloom bananas and he explained that the restaurant buys all of its fruit from a place called "Miami Fruit," which grows 150 varieties of bananas along with other kinds of unusual and rare fruits. When I got home I had to google the company and find out more. The company website provides this description:  

Miami Fruit has the largest variety and most diverse offerings of any online fruit store, as well as the freshest and fastest delivery time (from harvest of the fruit to delivery). Many of these fruits are produced on very small 3-to-5 acre properties and using sustainable farming practices, meaning that our fruits are grown using natural growing practices. The owners of Miami Fruit personally meet the farmers operating all of the local farms we buy from, and ensure that the people working on the farm (sometimes it's just one person and sometimes it's a whole team) are getting paid fair wages, and are producing the highest quality fruits.

They also provide their origin story:

Our Co-Owner Rane had a passion for fruits from the beginning! It all started with Rane and his bike, riding from different farms in South Florida where he worked and built relationships with local farmers. From here, he would ride his bike to Miami and sell the local fruits of many small farms at farmers markets! Over time, many friends and family members started reaching out to Rane to buy fruit on Facebook to be shipped to their doors. Along this adventure Rane met Edelle and she joined him in his fruit endeavors, where they began shipping fruit out of a small facility in Rane's mom's backyard that was nicknamed "the fruit cave". They also built a small fruit forest in her back yard. A short time later Rane's mentor Bill sold them their very own piece of land. The Miami Fruit facility was born on this land, as well as many very special rare and exotic fruits that are now flourishing. Rane and Edelle have recently purchased another 5 acres and intend to continue growing as many rare fruits as they can to share with you and other fruit enthusiasts!

I gotta say, the heirloom bananas that were served as part of my wild pacific halibut dish were delicious—they tasted like berries and had very little trace of what we think of as a typical banana flavor. I'd definitely be excited to try more! 

To read more about the over thousand types of bananas that are grown around the world, this PBS article provides a great overview, including this description of some of the varieties:

Grown in more than 150 countries, it is widely believed there are more than 1,000 types of bananas in the world, which are subdivided into 50 groups. The most common is the Cavendish, the one most frequently produced for export markets. There's also the Blue Java, aka the Ice Cream banana, so named for its blue skin and creamy, ice cream-like texture; the Macabu, which is black when fully ripe with a sweet pulp; the Niño, which is a mild and finger-sized; and the Burro banana, which has squared sides and a lemon flavor when ripe.

Don't they sound delicious? Enjoy this video from Miami Fruit explaining some of the exotic banana varieties they grow. And to see more of the delicious fruit that Miami Fruit grows, check out this list of what's currently in season!