© Denzil Green
Banana Buds are flower buds gathered from the banana plant.
Not just any banana bud is harvested though: only the one that is at the very tip of a bunch of developing flowers.
The buds are about 25 cm (10 inches) long, and purple or maroon in colour. The colouring in it will stain your hands easily. Fortunately, it is easy to wash off your hands, but harder to get out of clothes. In fact, in the past, the colouring was used as a dye for clothing and a stain for wood.
Inside, the banana bud should be a creamy-white, not black.
They are often pickled.
Choose ones that are still closed.
The inside part is used, but it needs to be cleaned inside, as an artichoke is.
Peel and discard outer layers.
Cut in half or quarter, and remove and discard the core and any flower bits, as they are bitter.
They will discolour once they are husked, so lemon juice should be applied as with artichoke. This will hold off discoloration for about half an hour.
Boil for about 20 minutes, and drain.