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Going a little bananas for Mardi Gras

“Stack banana till the morning come – Daylight come and me wanna go home.”

You’re welcome for putting that song in your head for the rest of the day!

Although popularized by Harry Belafonte in the early 1950s, Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) was actually a traditional Jamaican folksong, literally about the stacking of the bananas to be shipped from the Caribbean into the American mainland and beyond.

One of the main ports in which such a ship would typically dock would be New Orleans, where many bananas are consumed and this Bananas Foster recipe was conceived. 

Tuesday of this week was the beginning of “Mardi Gras” (Fat Tuesday), which is typically celebrated in New Orleans, so it seemed fitting to have a recipe from that area this week. (If you like New Orleans cooking, then check out our menu specials for this week.)

The recipe was perfected in Brennan’s Restaurant by their chef as it was an adaptation of an old family recipe involving the caramelization of the bananas and then typically serving them over ice cream.

The chef’s name was Paul, so this really should be called “Bananas Paul”, however it was named after the Crime Commissioner whose name was, of course, Foster. It makes you wonder if there was something going on at the restaurant that they wanted overlooked?

After topping your ice cream, you can always add additional toppings such as whipped cream or toasted nuts – I recommend pecans to be more traditional. “Cuz sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don’t!”

You’re welcome – I just got “The Banana Boat Song” out of your head!

Bananas Foster

Recipe by Chef Duff

After topping your ice cream, you can always add additional toppings such as whipped cream or toasted nuts – I recommend pecans to be more traditional. “Cuz sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don’t!”

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas

  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar

  • Juice & zest of 1 orange

  • Cinnamon, nutmeg

  • ¼ cup light rum

  • Vanilla ice cream as needed

Directions

  • Peel and cut bananas lengthwise.
  • Melt butter and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Allow to bubble up, add bananas allow to caramelize.
  • Hit with rum and stand back!
  • Add juice, sweet spices, juice and zest and bring back to boil.
  • Serve immediately over ice cream.
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