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Redefining In-Flight Catering

National Banana Bread Day

Banana Bread

Banana bread is just what the name suggests: bread made with bananas.  There must be more to talk about than just the obvious. Let’s talk about the magical first word… BANANA!

Here are some quick facts about the banana:

  • The scientific name is musa sapientum translated to “fruit of the wise man.”
  • Bananas originated in Southeast Asia.
  • Bananas plants are not trees, but rather they are a type of herb.
  • The banana is actually the berry of that herb.
  • Hawaii is the only place in the US where bananas are grown commercially.
  • The majority of bananas in the US are from Central America and South America.
  • India is the world largest producer of bananas.
  • The current banana on the shelf is not the original preferred variety. The Gros Michel was once the king of bananas until it was exterminated in 1960 by a worldwide disease, the Panama Disease. It was quickly replaced by today’s champion, the Cavendish.
  • It is the fourth most popular crop grown in the world only behind rice, wheat and corn.
  • Over 100 billion are consumed annually.
  • Americans eat more bananas than any other fruit, with an average consumption of 26 pounds per person.
  • Uganda eats an average of 500 pounds per person a year.
  • The banana split was invented in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1904.
  • If you rub the inside of a banana peel on a scrape or burn, it will help the pain go away, keep the swelling down, and keep the wound from getting infected.
  • Bananas make a great conditioner that helps restore dry, damaged hair.

The Kukwa Effect: Out Tampa kitchen received an order for a fruit tray to include sliced bananas. We all know that if you cut a banana it will brown, due to oxidation. Adding lemon juice would just make the banana taste like a lemony banana, and probably result in a not so pleasant comment from the passenger.  The fix you ask? Soaking the slices in cold club soda. The club soda contains the same balance of ph level that the lemon juice does and minimizes the oxidation process, and as a bonus has no flavor the compete with the banana. Club soda also works for other fruit.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this article or flight crew culinary training, contact me at rpeterson@airculinaire.com. For questions about in-flight catering, contact weborders@airculinaire.com.

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