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What are Burro Bananas? 101 Facts You Need to Know

Burro bananas vs regular bananas

You probably may have heard about Burro bananas and how special they are for health. You may also have gotten confused about how they really look like, how to identify them or even where to buy them. In this post, I’ll talk about:

  • What burro bananas are
  • How to identify burro bananas
  • What burro bananas are good for
  • Where to buy burro bananas

So, sit back and let’s get to learn about burros ūüôā

What are Burro bananas?

Burro bananas, also known as Saba, Bluggoe, Orinoco, Horse, Largo and Hog bananas are shorter, sturdier and more block-like or square in shape. They are seeded and have distinct edges. They are green when young and gradually turn deep yellow with dark spots as they ripen. The young unripe flesh has a chalky potato-like texture that turns into a soft and creamy with a sweet, tart, and lemony flavor when ripe. 

What are burro bananas?

Burro bananas are more popularly sold under the name “chunky banana” – usually in reference to it’s stubby, square or block like shape, compared to the regular Cavendish banana. Its outer skin (the peel) is green when not ripe, and gradually turns deep yellow with patches of black spots when ripe. It’s inner flesh is white and semi hard when green, and cream colored, soft and slightly firmer toward the center when ripe.¬†

Burro banana vs cavendish banana

Burro banana get their name from their stubby, short shape that is reminiscent to that of a donkey or burro. Although Burro bananas are thought to have originated in Southeast Asia, and dispersed through trade routes to other parts of the world, they are now commonly grown in Mexico and parts of central America.

Are burro bananas healthy?

Burros are perhaps one of the healthiest bananas there is. They are naturally alkaline in nature, contain tiny seeds and have so many health benefits. Burro bananas are very healthy with comparatively low fat, low carb and calorie count than their regular counterparts. They also are high in key minerals such as potassium and magnesium. They also contain a significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B, and fiber. They also contain amounts of phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper and selenium.

In addition, if you want to stay clear from bananas that are GMO and hybrids, burros are tour safest choice

What does a Burro Banana look like?

Burro Bananas look like the Cavendish variety in appearance except that they are shorter, have a more square shape and have distinct, protruding edges. 

Differences between burro banana and regular banana

What is the difference between burro bananas and regular bananas?

There are quite some key distinctions between Burros and Regular bananas. Although, most of the distinctions come from appearance, however, there are quite notable differences with taste, flavor and even to its nutritional composition. 

Dr. Sebi food list

Burro Banana Vs Regular Bananas

Below is a table of notable differences between a burro banana and a regular or cavendish variety of banana.

PropertiesBurro BananaRegular Banana (Cavendish)
AppearanceShorter and stubbierLonger
ShapeShorter, More squareMore elongated, with tapering tips
Special featureWith prominent ridges at the edgesNo prominent edges
SizeAveragely 6 inches in length8 or more inches in length
ColorDark green when young
Deep yellow with black spots when ripe
Bright green when young
Bright yellow with no spots when ripe
FleshWhite when young
Creamy white to yellow when ripe
White when young
Creamy white when ripe
FlavorTart stronger flavor when young
Lemony flavor when ripe
Slightly bland flavor when young
Sweet buttery flavor when ripe
Eaten RawYes 
SeedSmall, black or slightly brown seeds along the middle core of the fruitUnseeded
SeasonalityAvailable all year in U.S.A and MexicoAvailable all year in U.S.A and Mexico

Nutritional value of Burro Bananas vs Regular Bananas

So, what makes burros special? Do they offer special nutritional benefits over regular cavendish bananas?

Ripe burro bananas have very low in starch which makes it a great Potato replacement. They are also low in calories and fat. They contain high amounts of potassium that makes it great source. They also contain lots of iron as well as significant amounts of minerals like magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, and copper. They also contain a lot of fiber that makes it a great food for the gut health.

Nutrition Facts
Per Serving Size of 1 medium ripe (126g)
Burro BananaRegular Banana
Total Fat
Net carbs 
Nutritional facts of burro and regular banana. Source and Source

However, note that green (young) burro bananas contain high amounts of starch. But this is good starch called resistant starch that is great for the gut.

Burro Bananas vs Apple vs Thai Bananas

Burro bananas should not be confused with mini, Thai or baby bananas and they look very similar to these. You can check out our post on how to differentiate Burro banana from these other types.

Before I first got to learn about burros, I used to confuse burro bananas with Thai, Apple or mini bananas. I even see many people still get confused about this in the community. One trick I used to identify burros from the other similar varieties is its stubby, defined rigid edges. Yes, they look quite similar to Thai or Apple bananas, but much shorter with distinct edges. 

burro banana vs thai vs apple vs mini bananas

This can be quite puzzling because even stores often mislabel bananas. Sometimes they are labelled burros when in actual fact, they are apple or Thai bananas.

What does a Burro Banana taste like?

The flesh of an unripe burro banana is feels chalky with a tart and tangy taste that has undertones of lime and apple. When ripe, the flesh has a sweet creamy taste with notes of lemon.

Can you eat Burro bananas raw?

Burro bananas can be eaten raw and whole when ripe. They can also be made into fries, smoothies or used in puddings, pies and desserts. When green and unripe, they should be cooked before eating. Unripe bananas can be prepared into fries, porridges and stir-fries.

What are Burro bananas good for?

Burros are notably known to lower blood sugar levels and help stimulate hemoglobin levels in the body. This greatly beneficial to help prevent anemia or iron deficiency. They also act as a hormone regulator and help lower blood pressure as they contain a lot of potassium.

What makes burros special? What makes it so unique is it’s more natural and less hybridized than other varieties. For over 7,000 years, bananas have gradually undergone hybridization and gene structure modification. We now have bananas that are now seedless and larger than ever.¬†

Dr. Sebi food list

freshly harvested burro banana

A good reason Dr. Sebi advocated burros and baby bananas are because they have the least effect of modern gene modification and more alkaline, and natural.

Are Burro Bananas Alkaline?

Burro bananas are alkaline in nature. They are also healthier and have more Nutritional qualities not found in regular bananas. Their alkaline nature makes this fruit more health-promoting and many adherents in Sebian circles use this fruit for many health benefits.

Is Burro Banana a hybrid?

Burro bananas are the more natural, alkaline and healthier alternative to Cavendish bananas. They are seeded, grown wild and contain more nutrients. Their alkaline property makes it a a healthy alternative to Cavendish or regular bananas. Burro bananas are organic, non hybrid, and grown in the wild.

‚ÄĆDo burro bananas have seeds?

Burro bananas have seeds that are dark and very small, about the size of a quinoa grain. The seeds are edible and spread along the center stretch of the core of the white flesh.

Do burro bananas contain starch?

Green (unripe) burro bananas contain significant amounts of starch, although this amount is lower than other types of bananas. The starch content however, decreases as it ripens. This starch, is also known as resistant starch and is super great for gut health.

This starchy, chalky property of green burros makes it a healthier alkaline replacement for potatoes as they contain less starch than potatoes. You can use green burros for hash browns and mock Potatoe porridges and still get similar texture and flavor like potatoes.

Where to buy burro bananas?

Burro bananas are available year-round. So, it’s pretty easy to source them at major international, Latin and Asian Stores

Online Sources:

  1. Fruits N’ Rootz
  2. Jungle Jims
  3. Miami fruits
  4. Specialty Produce

Places near you

  1. Mexican markets
  2. International stores like Grand Mart or H Mart
  3. Latin stores.
  4. Caribbean stores
  5. Asian Stores
  6. Whole foods


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