I just finished off one of the most delectable bananas I have eaten in ages! The skin was golden yellow, but not too deeply golden. There was still a hint of green on the stem. The meat of the banana was firm and without blemish. And the flavor literally exploded in my mouth. MmmmMmmm!!!
I do love bananas, but I’m also extremely particular about my bananas. I can’t stand them if they are soft enough to feel the least bit mushy, or if they are starting to turn brown. Now, my hubby was just the opposite. He’s with the Lord now, enjoying the fruit of Heaven, which I’m sure is far superior in every way to what we have here, but when he was earthbound, he was also particular about his bananas. He wanted them brown – almost to the point of being disgusting. And if they were almost mush, that was even better. Ewwwww!
I never changed his opinion, but then he never changed mine either – which didn’t cause a problem because when we bought a bunch of bananas, I ate mine during the first few days, and then after they were ready to pitch as far as I was concerned, he dived into his half of the bunch. (Would that all differences in marriages could be so easily resolved, huh?)
Now, I am a great lover of banana bread as well, and I realize that when we make banana bread or muffins, those bananas are supposed to be especially ripe and very soft. That’s supposed to make them at peak flavor. And I don’t mind the thought of them being ripe and mushy once they are hidden in the bread, but I’d rather someone else make the bread so that I don’t have to see them as they go in. Ridiculous, I know, but, hey, we all have to have some kind of little idiosyncrasies, or we wouldn’t be individuals, right?
Another of my favorite treats is banana splits. But, alas, I am also particular about those. I want the old fashioned kind – which can be found almost nowhere these days – with three different flavors of ice cream, covered in three different kinds of topping. I’m sorry, but unless I have vanilla ice cream on one end covered with pineapple topping, strawberry ice cream in the middle covered with strawberry topping, and chocolate ice cream on the other end covered in chocolate syrup — and BOTH halves of a whole banana (not just a smidgeon stuck on each side) I have NOT had a banana split. Needless to say, it’s been a while since I’ve had that satisfaction.
But on to my next favorite: banana pudding. And, of course, I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I’m also very particular about that as well. I do not want my bananas to turn dark while in the pudding! But that problem is pretty easy to avoid, because when I start eating banana pudding, I usually don’t stop until it’s gone anyway. Or if it’s a very large portion, I might have some left for a second day, and that’s it.
The last item on my banana list that I consider a delicacy is banana ice cream. And I don’t want any of this artificial flavoring stuff. I want real bananas flavoring my ice cream. I can still remember, as an elementary-age child, making trips on hot summer nights to the local ice cream stand in our neighborhood. My family and I looked forward to those trips several times a week during those summer months, and I always ordered the same flavor: you guessed it – banana. Oh, wow – happy memories are made of banana ice cream!
Ooops, I almost forgot one more of my favorite banana recipes: banana and peanut butter sandwiches. And, of course, there are rules. The bananas should be slightly firm and very evenly sliced. The bread is best toasted. I spread a thick, even layer of peanut butter on the toast; then line up those banana slices. Depending on the size of the banana and the bread, I might get three rows of slices, but I can sometimes get 4. That’s good — and healthy — eating.
Now, what about you, readers? I’m looking forward to some feedback on this subject. How do you folks out there like your bananas?
Photo of bananas, by Prashanth
Photo of banana split, by Maliz Ong