Recently we bought a hand of red bananas. We watched them for a while, but couldn't sense a change in them (they don't change color). We eventually opened one and it was hard inside. How can I tell when they are ripe?
They do change color, just not so obviously as normal bananas. There's a slight greenish tint that disappears as they ripen, and the red becomes a bit deeper (some people say purplish).
They also get softer - including the skin getting more tender, just like yellow banana skin. Just think about how bananas feel when ripe, feel your red bananas, and (perhaps with a tiny bit of trial and error) you can figure it out.
In my experience the red bananas become a bit warmer shade of red -almost orangey. If I see red bananas with a slight orange color instead of the green I buy them! Because I KNOW those are ripening. I have bought many red bananas that NEVER ripened - just stayed hard & went black. I've been told by produce managers that they've had to pull red bananas off shelf because they won't ripen. Are the reds gassed like the cavendish to aid ripening? The best I've had came from Columbia - now they all seem to be from Ecuador & not as good & far less dependable!