They include commercially important cultivars like 'Dwarf Cavendish' (1888) and 'Grand Nain' (the "Chiquita banana… Have you ever had banana-flavored candy? Cavendish bananas require more protection than Gros Michel, and were thought of as small and flavourless in comparison. Background for those new to this topic: Most of the Gros Michels in the world were wiped out in the early '60s by Panama disease. As the fungus decimated crops, a less-popular, less-flavorful variety—the Cavendish—was discovered to be resistant to the pathogen. Tagged under Banana, Vegetable, Cavendish Banana, Fruit, Gros Michel Banana, Vitamin A, Betacarotene. Creamy, sweeter, and tastier than the ubiquitous Cavendish that monopolizes our grocery store fruit displays. Please take a moment to view my Patreon page and learn how you can help my series grow! The clone ‘Dwarf Cavendish’, today’s food banana in the west, has a different flavour, a different morphology (‘Gros Michel’ is slimmer), and unlike ‘Gros Michel,’ they do not turn fully yellow in tropical lowlands. The Gros Michel banana was the banana of choice until the 1950s. Like its predecessor the Gros Michel, the Cavendish may soon pass from our lives, potentially taking with it an entire industry. My grandmother swears that the flavor is inspired by that of Gros Michel bananas, not Cavendish. Less tasty than the Gros Michel, but more resistant to Panama Disease, the Cavendish quickly replaced Big Mike as the dominant banana being grown in Central and South America for export. A strain of a fungus that wiped out the Cavendish’s predecessor, the Gros Michel, in the 1950s, is on the move. Enter: the Cavendish, a banana cultivar resistant to the fungal plague. The banana industry scrambled in the 1950s and 1960s to replace the losses from the Gros Michel with another cultivar, the Cavendish. It’s the banana that we eat today. This was until a fungal disease called Panama disease struck, which almost wiped out the species. After the Panama disease started, people started looking for a different kind of banana that could withstand the disease, but at the same time be as export-friendly as the Gros Michel. It comes up nearly every time the 'Gros Michel' cultivar, which dominated the international trade until the 1950s, is mentioned in a piece about the threat faced by the Cavendish cultivars that replaced it. A real Gros Michel has more flavor and aroma than a Cavendish, also the skin is thicker & tougher and more resistant to bruising. In the 1960’s the banana industry moved to a cavendish type banana typically known as the Chiquita Banana. Indeed, this very phenomenon occurred in the late 1950s with the Gros Michel dessert variety, which had dominated the world’s commercial banana business. 5 hours ago I think that Cavendish banana is at great risk and it might be wiped out much like the Gros Michel soon. The cautionary tale of 'Big Mike' One of the most prominent examples of genetic vulnerability comes from the banana itself. Now, a newer, more virulent strain of Panama disease is wreaking that same havoc on the Cavendish and experts fear the banana we know and frequently devour may meet the same fate as the Gros Michel. My understanding is until the 1950s it was the main type of banana. They were slightly bigger than the Cavendish, with a stronger flavour. I read in a magazine about this. Not as fragrant or tasty as the Gros Michel but it is what you buy now at the grocery store. The replacement is called Cavendish, a blander, more tender banana. Gros Michel, often known as "Big Mike", is an export cultivar of banana and was, until the 1950s, the main variety grown. A Taste of the Past The Cavendish banana is less prone to ripening prematurely than is the Gros Michel banana. The physical properties of the Gros Michel make it an excellent export produce; its thick peel makes it resilient to bruising during transport and the dense bunches that it grows in make it easy to ship. The Cavendish hasn’t always been popular. It is named after the Gros Michel cultivar, the banana that dominated the international trade during the first part of the 20th century. In the 1950s, various fungal plagues (most notably Panama disease) devastated banana crops. This was due to Fusarium Wilt which nearly destroyed the banana … To replace the Gros Michel, the blander Cavendish variety was planted. The only banana that seemed both pathogenresistant and similar to the Gros Michel was a banana called the Cavendish. 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