Split decision on bananas

Decision on favorite recipe comes down to a matter of taste

Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2007


  Photo by Sue Ade/Morris News Ser

Photo by Sue Ade/Morris News Ser

When bananas were introduced to this country in the mid-1800s, they were considered an exotic dessert and were eaten on a plate with a knife and a fork.

Today they're the foundation for many delicious desserts such as banana pudding and bananas foster.

Eaten out of hand, a fully ripe, sweet and smooth-textured banana is nourishing and delicious. But when mixed with custard or topped with a liqueur-infused sauce, the banana becomes nothing short of spectacular.

The recipe for Nabisco's Nilla Wafer-packed Original Banana Pudding is still printed on the side of the Nilla Wafer box. But there's no recipe included with Pepperidge Farm's Chessmen cookie bags, the cookie of choice for Southern cooking maven Paula Deen's fabulously decadent "Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding."

Meanwhile, the famed flambed recipe for bananas foster, created in 1951 at New Orleans' Brennan's Restaurant by Chef Paul Blang, is a recipe that can be readily found in numerous cookbooks and online cooking sites.

But not everyone who likes eating bananas foster is eager to replicate Blang's torching techniques in their own homes.

If that sounds like you, you might enjoy making New York City firefighter and cookbook author Joseph T. Bonanno Jr.'s Mexican bananas foster.

Made with Kahla liqueur and without the flamb fanfare, Bonanno's dessert is prepared in aluminum foil packets.

Nilla or Chessmen? To flamb or not to flamb? Regardless the answer, you'll find that exploring the questions can be scrumptious.

Paula Deen's banana pudding (lower left) and cookbook author and retired New York fireman Joseph T. Bonanno Jr.'s Mexican banana foster (upper right) put a new spin on classic banana recipes.

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