Image showing Gros michel banana type

Written By Sania Malik || Reviewed By Adeel Abbas

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world; the Gros Michel Banana was once the world’s most widely cultivated banana variety until it was nearly wiped out by Panama disease in the mid-20th century. [1] After its decline, the Cavendish banana took over the market. In recent years, the Gros Michel banana has been making a comeback, and many banana lovers are curious about this legendary fruit. In this article, we will explore the history, characteristics, and benefits of the Gros Michel banana.

Image showing the Gros Michel Banana

History of Gros Michel Banana

Gros Michel banana, a beloved variety, dominated the international market until the 1950s. However, it was devastated by Panama disease, leading to its replacement by the Cavendish banana, which was resistant to the disease.

Today, the Gros Michel is rarely found in commercial markets due to its vulnerability to the fungus.

Characteristics of Gros Michel Banana

  • Gros Michel bananas are slightly larger than Cavendish bananas, with an average length of 18-23 cm.
  • Gros Michel bananas are long and straight, with a slightly tapered tip.
  • The skin of Gros Michel bananas is thick and yellow when ripe.
  • The pulp of Gros Michel bananas is creamy and yellow, with a sweet and rich flavor.
  • Gros Michel bananas have a unique flavor that is often described as being more complex and nuanced than Cavendish bananas.
  • Gros Michel bananas have a strong, sweet aroma.
Image showing the Characteristics of Gros Michel Banana

Nutritional Value of Gros Michel Banana

The Gros Michel Banana is rich in nutrients and has several health benefits. One medium-sized Gros Michel banana contains approximately 110 calories, 1 gram of protein, 30 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber. It is also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium. [4]

Extinct of Gros Michel Banana

Gros Michel Banana was nearly wiped out by the Panama disease, a soil-borne fungus that infects the roots of banana plants.

The fungus causes the plants to rot and eventually die. The disease spread rapidly, and there was no cure for it at the time.

The Gros Michel banana was the most susceptible variety to the disease, and the banana industry had to find an alternative variety to replace it. [5]

Rise of Cavendish Banana

As the popularity of Gros Michel bananas declined due to Panama disease, a new variety called Cavendish emerged.

Cavendish bananas were resistant to Panama disease and quickly became the new standard for the banana industry. Today, Cavendish bananas are the most commonly grown and exported bananas in the world.

Health Benefits of Gros Michel Bananas

Like other banana varieties, the Gros Michel banana is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is also low in fat and calories, making it a healthy snack option.

Bananas have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, improved digestion, and better blood sugar control.

Gros Michel banana was once the most popular banana variety in the world, but its popularity declined due to the devastating Panama disease.

Gros Michel bananas are no longer widely available, they remain a symbol of the banana industry’s past. The rise of Cavendish bananas saved the banana industry from extinction, but it also exposed the industry’s vulnerability to disease.

As the world’s population continues to grow, the demand for bananas will only increase, and the industry must find new ways to prevent diseases from wiping out entire plantations.


Why did Gros Michel bananas become extinct?

Gros Michel bananas were nearly wiped out by Panama disease, a fungal disease that blocks the water transport system of the plant, leading to wilting and death

What made Gros Michel bananas popular?

Gros Michel bananas were popular due to their sweet flavor, creamy texture, and long shelf life. They were also easy to transport and peel, which made them a convenient snack.

Can I grow my own Gros Michel bananas?

Yes, it is possible to buy Gros Michel banana plants and grow your own fruit.

Is the Gros Michel banana sweeter than the Cavendish banana?

Yes, the Gros Michel banana is generally considered to be sweeter than the Cavendish banana.

Can you still buy Gros Michel bananas?

Gros Michel bananas are not widely available anymore due to their vulnerability to Panama disease. However, some small farmers still grow them for local consumption.

What is the difference between Gros Michel and Cavendish bananas?

Gros Michel bananas are larger than Cavendish bananas, with a thicker skin. They also have a creamier texture and sweeter flavor. Cavendish bananas are resistant to Panama disease, which led to the decline of Gros Michel bananas.

What is the future of the banana industry?

The banana industry must find new ways to prevent diseases from wiping out entire plantations. Research is being conducted to develop disease-resistant varieties and to improve the sustainability of banana farming practices. The industry must also address issues such as labor rights and the environmental impact of banana farming.