When I visited the UBC Apple Festival in October, I encountered a huge selection of apples, ranging from the common (like the Pink Lady) to the obscure (like the Margil). One of the obscure ones was the Winter Banana. The sign said that it tasted like banana... so more out of skepticism than out of curiosity, I picked up a bag for $8 to try them out.
It always helps to know your subject beforehand, so before I embarked on my taste test, I did some quick research on the web, which led me to sites describing the Winter Banana as “attractive,” “the “Fairest of the fair,” and “an all-time classic.”. Pretty high praise for an apple. Would my apples hold up to the test? It was time to find out.
The Winter Banana is definitely on the big side. It had a beautiful blush of red on one side, as well as a ridge running down vertically, which I found to be a distinctive trait. It gave off a noticeable fruity fragrance, one that lasted in the rest of my apples for days.
There was certainly some tartness, but it was balanced nicely with the sweetness so it wasn’t overwhelming. The fragrance of the apple definitely added to the experience, but finishing the whole apple took quite a while.
The final verdict? There were definitely banana-esque flavours in the Winter Banana, but it didn't stand out. If you ever happen to see the Winter Banana for sale, definitely try it out. It might not become your favourite apple, but it’ll definitely rank high.