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Golden Banana: Cambodia’s Fruit Ensign

by Lay Vicheka

September 18, 2005

“Golden Banana” is now Cambodia ’s fruit ensign. Cambodian people call this fruit “chicken-egg banana”, due to its soft taste and chicken-egg like complexion. Golden banana has its scientific name, Musa aromatica. Cambodian people call this fruit “chicken-egg banana (Chek Pong Mann), because they compare this fruit to the color, little size, and soft taste of the chicken egg. Golden banana is one of the favorite fruits and desert of Cambodian people.

It is also used as everyday fruit or dessert and even making fruit jam. Most important of all, ripe golden banana is always seen in the wedding ceremony and Sabbath day. Green banana is, on the other hand, used as vegetable mostly for roundtable drink. Golden banana is widely used in almost every festivity, due to its low price and excellent taste. Because of its habitual touch with Cambodian commoners, golden banana is now officially considered as one of Cambodian fruit identities.

Golden banana is mostly planted along the Mekong delta, especially on the island area. And it is good source of money for some families. Golden banana has its long history in Cambodia, though India was the first source of Cambodia’s today’s golden banana. This history is seen through Cambodian traditional stories.

Golden banana is very useful. Its trunk is used as fruit for people and food for animals of many kinds, especially cow, pig, buffalo. Golden banana’s leaf can be converted into packing materials.

What stated above is too little to insightfully understand “golden banana” and more information is still widely needed. But what is the most important for this scope of paper is to know that “golden banana” is now Cambodian Fruit Ensign. Answer to why golden banana is picked as Cambodia ’s fruit ensign will be explaining latter. I wish Cambodia will reveal more about related stories, facts, history, and logics about golden banana in Cambodian context. This minor revelation is to show better knowledge to the Cambodians and foreigners alike, who are wondering around Cambodia ’s happening and bygone issues.


The author is a final year student of law at the University of Phnom Penh.

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