Several years ago, I was visiting my local Jamba Juice and had ordered my regular Mango-A-Go-Go when I somehow I started making small talk to the server, Claire, about bananas. Seeing as they’re a staple in any smoothie I was saying some fluffy polite nonsense while she was blending, like “O yeah, the bananas are the best part…”, when Claire parlayed the disturbing fact that someday, at some unforeseen time, bananas will cease to exist.
If you’re doubting me, as I doubted Claire, you can click here.
Apparently the most widely known and consumed Cavendish banana suffers a genetics problem. There is only one strain and it’s susceptible to some yucky kind of fungus. It’s enough to make a foodie mourn.
Now don’t get me wrong. There will still be bananas. Just not the one’s we have today.
So as I sat in my car slurping my smoothie, I contemplated how abysmal this whole conundrum truly was. Our kids won’t know what a Cavendish banana is! Just like I don’t know how deliciously superior the now extinct Gros Michel variety apparently was in the 60s! That’s not even considering how expensive they’re going to become.
Needless to say, ever since that startling moment, I’ve made a point of appreciating the everyday genus Musa in as many ways possible. Sundaes, muffins, banana foster, roasted plantains, you name it. And ever since about Valentine’s Day, I’ve been on a full-on banana bread kick.
I’ll be sitting in my French kitchen, listening to Bon Iver’s Skinny Love wondering, how can I make my loaf more light and perfectly banana-y today? At this point, I’ve made so many loaves I’m certain my French family no longer wants to eat it for breakfast. I’m afraid I’ve become some sort of Banana Bread Goldilocks, with all this experimental baking. But thankfully I think I’ve finally found the recipe that’s just right.
So here are the edible fruits of my labor. Go celebrate the precious Cavendish with some yummy under-recognized banana bread. And I promise you, in 20…. maybe 30 years, your food memories will thank you.
Mo’s Banana Bread
3-4 ripe bananas
¼ cup of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of coarse salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
½ of a vanilla bean
2 cups of flour
1 ½ cups of sugar
Mash bananas. Mix in wet ingredients and vanilla bean seeds. Combine dry ingredients. Pour into greased and floured baking pan. Bake at 350°F (175° C) for about 60-75 minutes until golden brown.