Bananas

Just as with Apples, there are a wide variety of Bananas and there are considerable differences, especially when cooking with them.

Note: This page is primarily for a discussion among a few cooks that I know but others who find it by accident are welcome to read.

We use bananas in quite a few things. I have one every morning in my porridge as it acts as a sweetener that’s much healthier than traditional options like sugar. We make Banana Bread, Banana Muffins, Banoffee Pie, and Banana Pudding (American definition of pudding, not UK) frequently.  Also occasionally Banana Pancakes and Flying Jacob. Sometime in the future I’d like to try Turon.

And then there are cocktails that use fresh bananas like Bananas Foster and Dirty Banana.

Occasionally Banana Bread or Banofee Pie don’t turn out so well and we couldn’t figure out why. But now we know. It’s the variety of banana!

If a banana will be good for using in any of the above recipes shows up quickly with porridge. A bad banana will have a strong metallic/mineral smell. Some will not break down well when cooked, and some will get a black center when pan fried.

Good bananas will not have the metallic/mineral smell or black center and they will fairly quickly break down when cooked in porridge.

There appear to be three primary groups; varieties that are good even when slightly green (like Robinson brand below), those that might be a little metallic when greener but better when more ripe (like the Dole brand below), and those that will not be good even when ripe (Fife’s brand).

 

 

The photos below were taken the first morning I used one for porridge.

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These were good first through last.  

 

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First was a 3/5. Edible but slightly off.