Puso ng Saging
Puso ng saging literally means “heart of banana” in the Tagalog language. It has been called “banana bell” in English.
As you can see in the photo, a banana heart is reddish-purple on the outside.
How to cook it?
First, remove the dark outer layers (called the outer bracts) to expose the lighter inner layers. Cut off and discard the top part.
The flowery things you see between the red bracts are the florets, better known as banana blossoms or flowers (bulaklak ng saging). If you know how to remove the calyxes and pistils from the florets, you can use these blossoms as an ingredient as well.
Slice the remaining part into thin pieces.
Soak the slices in salted water for at least 2 hours to make it less sticky (there’s some sap), and to prevent discoloration as well.
Then you can sauté the slices with garlic and shrimp or pork or whatever meat you think is suitable.
TIP: If you have a recipe that calls for banana hearts and you can’t find any fresh or canned ones at the Filipino store or whatever shop or supermarket you usually get “ingredients” from, consider using artichoke… or even zucchini.
There are food companies like Fortress and Pinoy Delight that sell canned ginataang puso ng saging (banana hearts cooked in “coconut cream”) that are supposedly ready to eat.