CHICAGO — Upton’s Naturals is introducing Banana Blossom, a plant-based alternative to fish that is 100% vegan and mimics the flaky texture of fish, according to the company.

Banana blossom, also known as a “banana heart,” is the fleshy, purple-skinned and tear-shaped flower that grows at the end of a banana cluster. The blossoms have tightly packed petals resembling filets that are neutral in flavor and offer a soft texture with just a bit of bite, the company said.

Cooked in a small amount of brine to prevent oxidation, Upton’s Naturals Banana Blossom is shelf stable and ready to heat and serve. The USDA certified organic product is sourced from Sri Lanka and is free of fat, cholesterol, added sugar, gluten, soy, oil, GMOs and artificial flavors. Each 100-gram serving contains 20 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.

“While banana blossoms are a popular culinary tradition in Southeast Asia, US cooks have just scratched the surface of working with this unique and versatile ingredient,” said Dan Staackmann, founder of Upton’s Naturals. “We’re on a mission to change that by making this excellent meat alternative, which literally grows on trees, more accessible to mainstream consumers and easier to prepare. The most common use will be for fish and chips, but the opportunities are endless … think paella, stir fry or banana blossom salads.”

Upton’s Naturals Banana Blossom is available nationwide in 7-oz packages for a suggested retail price of $3.99.