Did you know that bananas are actually a berry despite their odd shape? It is the fruit of giant herb related to both ginger and tumeric and
came originally from the Malaysian Peninsula. Banana trees grows to about 10 metres in height and has huge leaves which wind around to
form a sort of trunk. Each year individual plants produce a large flower spike in a gorgeous deep cerise colour which eventually becomes the
bunch of bananas.
Commercially the fruit is picked when green, but of full size. It is then transported to its destination, usually in refrigerated ships and
ripened when it gets there. The botanical name is musa sapientum. The second part of this name means wise a sit was said that wise men sat
under banana trees in the shade
Eating bananas are mainly yellow, though there are some that have a pinkish hue. Plaintains, or cooking bananas are green or yellowish green.
They taste somewhat like sweet potatoes and grow straighter than the curved sweet varieties.
Don’t store them in the fridge or the skins will blacken. Plaintains are often baked in their skins - this takes about 45 minutes in a moderate
oven. They can also be sliced into chips and fried. In Caribbean cookery they are added to curries and sometimes the baked flesh is mashed
into a sort of porridge.
Banana Picnic Fingers
4 oz oats
4 oz flour
4 oz sugar – Demarera is nice, but ordinary granulated does fine.
Level teaspoon of baking powder
Level teaspoon of ground ginger or cinnamon
Mix together the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder and spice and then beat the egg and use this to bind the dry ingredients into a stiff dough.
This can be done in a food processor if you have one.
Divide in two, placing half flat in a baking tin. Slice the bananas on top. Roll out the other half of the dough and place on top. Bake for about
30 minutes in a medium oven, 180 C, 350 F, Gas 4 until golden. Mark into fingers, but allow to cool in tin before using.
More Banana Recipes
Refreshing Banana Treat
Chocolate Banana Mousse
Banana Raisin Tea Cake