When you are learning how to make banana salad recipes you will find they can be made from various types of bananas. Here in the United States the most popular type is the CAVENDISH which accounts for over ninety five percent of the banana sales. This mild tasting mushy fruit is one of America’s favorite fruits and certainly mine.
These elongated slightly bent bright yellow bananas are familiar to all of us; they are wonderful when learning how to make banana salad recipes. You probably have noticed when the retailer first put out bananas they are very green; this only began in recent decades. Before that, they were ripe and yellow when placed out for sale but they went too ripe too soon. When I was young Mom would purchase these at a discount; that was the only time we had bananas.
Today bananas are picked “very unripe” to allow the extra time for shipping; this is why they are still green when they are delivered to the stores. One time I bought a clump of green bananas thinking in two days they would be ripe for my banana salad recipe. After seven days they were still hard and green; then they started to rot.
I was told of something I found to be very interesting which I did not know before. Bananas are picked very early to ship to other countries; like the US. When they arrive here they are placed in special rooms where they are “gassed”. This gassing process starts the ripening process. They are then delivered to the produce stores or supermarkets where they continue to ripen. If for some reason the green bananas miss this “gassing”, they will not ripen but only rot. I suspect this is what happened to my green bunch which I had purchased to make a salad.
BABY BANANAS are native to Central and South America. They look about the same as the regular Cavendish, only about half the size and a little sweeter. In some regions you are able to purchase this type; occasionally I have seen them in groceries in Florida. They make excellent salads.
If you are able to purchase the MANZANO (known as the apple banana), they are also very good, having an apple texture, taste and aroma, when learning how to make banana salad recipes. These are native to Central and South America but are common to use also in Asian banana salads.
The stubby, chunky BURRO banana is grown in Mexico but is sold throughout Latin America. This one is also great for banana salad recipes. It has more of a sweet sour taste unlike the ones we are use to.
I have never seen RED BANANAS available here in the United States. They are grown in Costa Rico, Jamaica and Cuba and are excellent in banana salad recipes with their extra sweet flavor with a slight raspberry taste. When they are ripe the skin is a pretty maroon color and the flesh is pinkish.
To me the PLANTAIN is a different “ballgame”. This one is specifically for cooking. It took me going to Latin America to reap the appreciation of plantains. Much less sweeter than all the others, these bananas make a great substitution for potatoes. Deep fried they make great French fries or chips to serve with salads.
HOW TO RIPEN BANANAS: When you purchase green bananas, place them in a paper bag overnight with an apple or tomato to ripen them quickly.
The following banana salad is a little different than what you might think. Many times when we buy bananas they are still very green. This recipe uses the green bananas. Green Bananas are harder to peel so make a cut lengthwise only through the peel. Then remove the skin in sections.
Cover whole bananas with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the bananas and let set until cold. Cut bananas crosswise into ¼ inch slices. Combine the bananas, carrots, tomato, cucumber, avocado and celery in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, wine vinegar, salt, black pepper and minced garlic. Stir well to blend. Pour mixture over the banana mixture. Stir well to blend. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Mix fruits, pecans and marshmallows.
Fold mustard into whipped cream and blend into fruit mixture; serve.
Mix gelatin with boiling water until dissolved; let cool.
Add remaining ingredients; stir to blend and chill until set. Add topping.
Combine egg, sugar, flour and juice; cook until thick and cool.
Blend in whipped topping and spread on top of salad.
Heat oil in pan; add slices of plantains.
Fry and turning to overall brown.
Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
Sprinkle with salt; serve with salads.