Before coming to Madagascar I had no idea how many ways there were to eat a banana. I honestly only had the vaguest notion that there were multiple species of bananas other than the one found in the grocery store. Coming here I’ve been able to experience different banana varieties, but different ways to prepare them. Here are some of the main ones ranked by my preference from worst to best.
7. Fried Bananas – During site visit my host mom was really fond of giving me these as a snack. They are simply a ripe banana that has been fried in oil. While I love fried things these just don’t really do it. They aren’t sweet, but also not savory and mainly just are oily and mushy.
6. Plain – While trying out the different varieties is fun, after a while and banana is just a banana. Plus there is always the chance that you will get one that tastes like chalk for no reason.
5. Coconut bananas – To make this you first need to peel and chop a bunch of green bananas. This will result in your being covered in a sticky goo that doesn’t come off easily. (green banana’s do not like being peeled). Then you shred some coconuts to make coconut milk. Heat the coconut milk with sugar, vanilla, and some flour to thicken in and cook the banana’s in this until you have a creamy like soup with chunks of banana in it. I do really love coconut, but green bananas have no taste so I don’t understand why you use them instead of a ripe banana.
4. Banana chips – take a green banana, slice it up, and fry it. Serve with salt and pepper. This is an excellent option when you want chips and your town hasn’t had potatoes in two months.
3. Fried Banana Bread – As the name implies this is basically banana bread dough that has been fried instead of baked. My neighbours often makes it for breakfast and I find it a nice break from the plain fried bread that you usually find.
2. Breaded Fried Bananas – While a plain fried banana is gross to be, if you dip it in batter and fry I suddenly find is delicious. Maybe it’s the banana variety they use for these, but they are sweet and fried and cheap. My arteries would probably prefer if I didn’t eat so many.
1. Fried unripe bananas with cucumber mango salad – For these you simply fry a whole peeled green banana. For the salad use cucumbers, ripe or unripe mangos depending on what’s in season shredded in vinegar and possibility some tomatoes and onions. My neighbor makes these every evening around the time the kids get out of school. I like to pretend they are somewhat healthy because there are vegetables and fruit involved, but I know I’m just kidding myself.