There are more than 500 varieties of banana in the world: The most common kinds are Dwarf Cavendish, Valery, and Williams Hybrid bananas. Other types of bananas include Apple and a small red banana called the Red Jamaica. A large type of banana called the plantain is hard and starchy and is almost eaten as a cooked vegetable. The Cavendish is the most common variety of bananas now imported to the United States. The Cavendish is a shorter, stubbier plant than earlier varieties. It was developed to resist plant diseases, insects and windstorms better than its predecessors. The Cavendish fruit is of medium size, has a creamier, smooth texture, and a thinner peel than earlier varieties.