The banana flower, also known as a banana blossom or banana heart, is a large, cone-shaped flower that grows at the end of a cluster of bananas. While many people may be familiar with bananas as a fruit, the banana flower is often overlooked and underutilized in Western cuisine. However, in many parts of Asia, Africa, and South America, banana flowers are a popular ingredient in a variety of dishes. When cooked, banana flowers have a slightly bitter taste and a meaty, fibrous texture. The flavor is often compared to artichoke hearts or hearts of palm. To prepare the flower for cooking, the tough outer layers must be removed until only the tender, pale-yellow inner layers remain. The inner layers can then be thinly sliced and added to salads, stir-fries, or soups, or used as a filling for tacos or sandwiches.