We’ve had a surplus of bananas in our house from co-op baskets. We get them when they are very unripe and usually over the week they ripen and we start eating them. The last batch though, didn’t work quite like this. A week after we got them, they were just as green as when we brought them home, but started having some weird brown spots appear. Not normal ripening spots that bananas get. They were more defined, rough, and the bananas weren’t soft in those spots.
Still, even with the weird banana behavior, I didn’t think anything of it.
So Thursday night when my brother was craving Bananas Foster, I generously offered up our kitchen and our surplus of bananas for the occasion. I mean, even an unripe banana tastes good when cooked, right?
We got all excited to make the dessert. I’m big on pictures, and since this dish ends with a splash of rum and a flick of a match…I was all over that like salt on watermelon.
First we melted some butter and brown sugar.
While that was happening I started peeling the “bananas”. This was about the point that I realized there was something VERY wrong with these bananas. They did not want to peel. Not at all. I ended up having to cut them up with a knife and painstakingly cut off their peels. This wasn’t the end of the weirdness either. The things smelled funny, woody and not sweet. They felt funny, grainy not sticky.
My first thought was…maybe the farmer makes sucky bananas…
But we continued on, thinking maybe, just maybe, the carmelized fruit would still taste fab.
I mean, it looks pretty, right?
Look, I even got fancy with ice cream dishes and everything…
We had fun setting fire to the bananas
and then we got to dig in
and that’s where all the fun ended.
It was gross.
That there, was NO banana.
We quickly determined that our yummy Bananas Foster was in fact Plantains Foster. I don’t suggest it.
If the nutty taste and texture weren’t enough, we went ahead and conducted out own test.
This here is the last plantain we had after the episode
and here is a photo of a plantain
Notice a similarity or two?
I sure do! Check out those extremely prominent tips, and angular features. They have less of a soft arching appearance compared to the beautifully soft curve of a banana. Less visual research concluded that plantains are very difficult to peel, have a woody taste and have a rather rough but leathery feel the the peel. Not what you would find with a banana.
So in conclusion, we have decided that our bananas weren’t bananas at all. They were plantains. Plantains that were so sadly wasted by cooking them in a carmelized sauce rather than chopping them up and baking to a crisp chip. I was so sad to see them all go down the disposal (seriously, they were gross with the sauce) because I so would have loved to actual work with a plantain! I love new and creative food adventures!
At least we have the one lone plantain left. Maybe we can try something with just him.
Or maybe I’ll freeze it to keep as a comparison to all future banana receipts.