Saturday, August 20, 2011

the Green Banana that refuses to turn yellow

unraveling the mystery to the green banana
Second week on the island and I encountered these guys: the notorious bananas that stay green foooorrreevvver. hahahah.  I knew something was fishy when I read the lable.  "Hmmm, Green Fig," I thought to myself.  Maybe this is what they call bananas here on the island or maybe someone mis-labeled them?  All concerns went out the door as soon as I found out how cheap they were. Dirt Cheap! 4EC for more bananas than I can handle? I decided to go for it!

Three weeks after, the bananas were still green hahaha.  It boggled me so much that my prior knowledge of bananas went out the door. I know that normal bananas ripe faster in hot temperatures (check!) and even faster wrapped in paper bags (checked, three of them)+ in hot temperatures.  I started saying to myself, "hey, they ripe slower here on the island."... I was delirious.  They look exactly like the banana I know so I didn't bother looking them up online. I waited one more week until I couldn't take it anymore.  I googled "green fig banana" and found out that they're used more like a vegetable instead of a fruit.  ahhhhhh.

"Fig" is synonymous with banana here on the island.  It has no relationship at all with the fig that we're all familiar with. Back in the day, locals started using Green Figs as a means of survival, but now-a-days, it has become part of their everyday recipes they have come to love the most.

As time passed by, the bananas softened little by little. I decided to leave them out for as long as I could before they started showing signs of spoilage.  I cut off the ends, peeled the bananas, and gave them a try.  I was pleased with their taste and texture... firm in feel with the taste of a not so sweet, on-the-verge of being ripe regular banana.  Based on their taste, I just know they'd be great in banana's foster on top of ice cream, or on top of a egg custard.

Bottom line: I love green fig. they're cheap, can be used in savory dishes or made into dessert.  the best thing is, they have the longest shelf life ever!

Common ways green bananas are prepared:
-boiled, diced, and made into a salad (like potato salad)
-boiled, grated, and made into a savory pie (along with potatoes)
-boiled, diced, and cooked in butter and nutmeg
-boiled and made into a smoothie
-used in curries

I have yet to experiement with them so for now, I hand you over to the experts.  Follow the links below.

Links to Recipes:
Green Fig Banana Pie
Green Fig and Saltfish
Green Fig Salad
Green Fig Punch

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