After living in the city for 30 years, EC moved to the countryside. He writes about life in the mountains, dogs, plants, and cooking.
Banana is a Prolific Dessert
The term 'banana' usually refers to the 'dessert' banana with the soft and sweet flesh. The bananas that have firm and starchy flesh are called 'plantains,' or 'saba' in many parts of the Philippines. These bananas are from a group of cultivars, which taste somewhat blandly sweet. The unripe plantain banana fruits are dried and ground to make banana flour.
Plantain bananas can be cooked in many ways. Semi-ripe fruits can be boiled whole and unpeeled. Or cut into very thin chips, dried, and cooked with glazed sugar. Whole peeled semi-ripe banana are also deep-fried while sprinkling brown sugar on them. The result is one of the popular street snack food in the Philippines called 'banana cue' or fried banana on a stick.
Another popular afternoon snack is called 'turon.' Ripe banana slices, ripe jackfruit strips, and a dash of sugar are wrapped snugly in lumpia wrappers -- then deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. The crunchy turon is perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Ripened plantain banana fruits are also cooked in thickly caramelized sugar. Sweetened banana, sliced or whole, can be eaten alone as afternoon snack. Placed on top of shaved ice and splashed generously with milk -- you got banana con yelo.
The mashed fruit of ripe plantain banana can be cooked as banana pudding. Or simply dip in thick batter made of flour and eggs before deep-frying.
The famous Filipino summer dessert called 'halo-halo' is not complete without the sweetened banana slices as one of the dozen (or more) ingredients.
Gourmet Banana Dessert
Eat your banana dessert in style. Cut the deep-fried 'turon' in diagonal slices and serve with a mound of vanilla ice cream on the side. Create a classy background design with zig-zagging lines of pancake syrup and condensed milk.
Simple Recipe for 'Turon'
'Turon' is very easy to cook. You will need to prepare only 5 ingredients: whole bananas cut into two, strips of ripe jackfruit, white or brown sugar, lumpia wrappers, and oil for deep-frying.
How to Cook: Roll one banana half on sugar and arrange on one end of the lumpia wrapper. Add a strip or two of jackfruit. Wrap carefully to make a roll. Set aside. Heat the oil in a semi-deep frying pan. Fry each roll until golden brown.
How to Bake Banana Cake
Banana Cakes are Easy to Bake
Traditional banana cakes often use the 'dessert' variety bananas. The soft banana flesh is mashed and mixed in flour with eggs, sugar, and some baking powder. A slice of banana cake is perfect with a cup of hot tea or coffee.
The Many Colors of Banana
Bananas have different varieties and have different sizes and colors when ripe: yellow, light green, light brown, red, and purple. It is available all-year round because it is not seasonal. The top 5 countries in banana production are: India, Brazil, China, Ecuador, and the Philippines. The most important and the also the most exported of the banana cultivars is the 'Cavendish,' mainly because of the long shelf life rather than the taste.
Bananas to be exported are usually picked while green and unripe. They are brought and stored inside ripening rooms, which are air-tight and full of ethylene gas. The gas will induce rapid ripening process.
The vivid yellow color of bananas sold in supermarkets are caused by the artificial process of ripening. Tree-ripened bananas have brownish-yellow color and a much more superior flavor. However, their shelf-life will last 7 to 10 days only; unlike the ethylene-ripened bananas.
The word 'banana' originated from 'banan,' an Arabic word that means 'finger.
How to Make Banana Pudding
Simple But Savoury Banana Pudding
This pudding uses the Cavendish banana, not the plantain type. Easy to prepare but perfect to bring in pot luck parties.
Halo-Halo: Favorite Filipino Summer Dessert
Yui on March 15, 2014:
Turon cupcakes?! You are a ginues! Never would I think to transform turon into cupcakes but you did it - great job!! And I love the jackfruit cream cheese frosting... what a great idea! Oh and of course please feel free to join Kulinarya - email me sugarlace[at]fragiled[dot]net so I can introduce you to Trissa and Kath! :)
Lisa on March 13, 2014:
Here is a recipe or two for you. I hope your brdaemaker has a sweet bread button, or just use the reg cycle.Caribbean Banana BreadLarge Loaf1/3 C water3/4 C mashed very ripe banana2 T vegetable oil, margarine or butter (I use olive oil)1 large egg3/4 t salt3 T brown sugar, packed1 1/2 C white flour*1 1/2 C whole-wheat flour1 t ground nutmeg or cinnamon (bet pumpkin pie spice would be good)1 1/4 t bread-machine or instant yeast1/4 C each raisins and chopped pecans (optional) * In Canada use all-purpose or bread flour; in the United States use bread flour.(You don't have to use wheat flour. Just add the amt listed in white)Extra Large Loaf1/3 C water1 C mashed very ripe banana (about 2 medium bananas)3 T vegetable oil, margarine or butter (I use olive oil)2 large eggs1 t salt1/4 C brown sugar, packed2 C white flour*2 C whole-wheat flour1 1/4 t ground nutmeg or cinnamon (bet pumpkin pie spice would be good)1 1/2 t bread-machine or instant yeast1/3 C each raisins and chopped pecans (optional)*In Canada use all-purpose or bread flour; in the United States use bread flour. 1. Add all ingredients except raisins and nuts to machine according tomanufacturer’s directions. Select sweet or white cycle. 2. Add raisins and nuts at ingredient signal (or about 20 to 30 minutes into cycle after the starting time). Tip: Freeze overripe bananas either in their skins (the skins will turn black but the bananas are good for baking when thawed) or peel, mash and freeze in airtight containers or bags.
Narendra singh chouhan on January 05, 2012:
Amazing dish i love the banana dishhhhhhhhhh
mabmiles on August 09, 2011:
I love banana.
saif113sb on July 28, 2011:
Beautiful and good ideas Recipes. Thanks
Sun-Girl from Nigeria on June 30, 2011:
Nice hub, and thanks for sharing as i look forward for some more hubs from you.cheers
EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on May 29, 2009:
Hi, Smireles! I just added 3 pics of jackfruit -- just for you :) Thank you for asking.
Sandra Mireles from Texas on May 29, 2009:
Loved your hub and all the great info about bananas! What is jack fruit? I have never heard of it! Thanks!
EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on May 14, 2009:
Hi, Charlotte Anne! Thank you for dropping by :)
Charlotte Anne from Iowa, USA on May 14, 2009:
You have a lot of good ideas there.
EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on May 07, 2009:
Hello, Frieda. Thank you for the beautiful comment. Of course, the ingredients are available in the supermarket. Just look for the plantain bananas, not the cavendish ones. Lumpia wrapper are sold in packs of 50 or 20 pieces. Don't forget the jackfruit because they give delicious smell to turon. I'll be watching out for your feedback. I'm sure the kids will love your turon. :)
Hi, Peggy! Thanks for dropping by. Turon is not a pancake but the lumpia wrapper used to wrap it could be a sort of very thin pancake. Lumpia wrappers can be purchased in packs of 50's and 20's in the supermarket. This wrapper is also used in fried egg rolls.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 07, 2009:
I agree with Freida. Question.......is a Turon a thin type of pancake? It looks like it in the photo. Can these be purchased ready made?
Frieda Babbley from Saint Louis, MO on May 07, 2009:
Fantastic info. I really learned a lot about bananas. My kids and I LOVE them. I love them in breads and deserts and plain and any way I've ever had them. I really want to try Turon. It looks so yummy! I'm assuming I can find the ingredients here in the states, so I'm going to look at the different grocers. Hopefully I'll be back to let you know how much I love it. I'm bookmarking. =D