Saba banana is a banana cultivar originating from the Philippines.
It is primarily a cooking banana though it can also be eaten raw. It is also sometimes known as the cardaba banana, though the latter name may be more correctly applied to a very similar cultivar also classified within the saba subgroup.
Saba bananas are one of the most important banana cultivars in Philippine cuisine. The fruits provide the same nutritional value as potatoes. They can be eaten raw or cooked into various traditional Filipino desserts and dishes like maruya/sinapot, turrón, halo-halo and ginanggang.
It is also popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore in dishes like pisang aroma (similar to the Filipino turrón), pisang goreng (fried bananas), kolak pisang, and pisang kepok kukus (steamed banana).
Saba is also processed into a Filipino condiment known as banana ketchup, invented by the Filipino food technologist and war heroine Maria Y. Orosa (1893–1945). The dark red inflorescence of saba (banana hearts, locally known in the Philippines as “puso ng saba”) are edible. The waxy, green leaves are also used as traditional wrappings of native dishes in Southeast Asia. Fibres can also be taken from the trunk and leaves and used to manufacture ropes, mats, and sacks.
Saba bananas are also cultivated as ornamental plants and shade trees for their large size and showy colouration.