Friday, December 28, 2012

Greedy about Bananas.

I really cannot resist giving you one more snippet from The Greedy Book (1906) to end the week.  It is a menu, and is surely one of the most interesting examples of a single-ingredient theme meal that I have ever featured here. The author says:
“A friend has sent me a curiosity from Havana in the shape of a menu, in the composition of every dish of which the banana entered in some shape or form. As a triumph of skill or ingenuity I respect the menu, but am thankful that I was not invited to partake of the repast. Here it is.

Soupe à la Banane avec Croûtons de Banane.
Crêpes de Banane avec Gelée de Banane.
Poulets à l’Etuvée avec Bananes Ciselées.
Poulets Rôtis avec Bananas Dressées.
Rôti de Boeuf avec Gelée de Banane.
Gâteau à la Gelée de Banane.
Galettes de Bananes.
Gâteau de Banane aux Fruits.
Café de Banane.

I have to agree with the author, the menu represents a triumph of skill or ingenuity - or perhaps both – on the part of the chef. But, if I may be permitted one small criticism - Gelée de Banane is a component of no less than three of the dishes, which is hardly ideal, is it?

I am not sure whether this ‘Gelée de Banane’ refers to ‘jelly’ as in confiture (jam), or to ‘jelly’ as in gelatin (Jello-O.) Banana Jell-O sounds not a whit appetizing to me, so I give you Banana Jam, from a regional Australian newspaper.

Banana Jam.
Slice up a dozen large bananas. To every pound of the fruit allow three-quarters of a pound of preserving sugar. Take the juice and pulp of five lemons, and add them to the bananas and sugar. Add a little water. Then chop up half an ounce of preserved ginger and add. Simmer very slowly for fifty minutes.
Evelyn Observer and Bourke East Record (Victoria) July17, 1914.


Les said...

Banana Jam sounds very good!

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Les, Sorry (again) for the late response; life and holidays and writing and work have taken up more than all my time recently!
Banana jam does sound good, it is on my list of things to get around to making.