Banana bread is a staple of americana cuisine, however, the fruit from which it takes its name is anything but. As bananas thrive in tropical climates (ripening above 12 degrees F and freezing below it), trade in this delicious product had to wait until the 1920s when they were carried over in specially constructed ‘banana boats’ with air-conditioned cargo holds. But, as George Bluth has declared, ‘there’s always money in the banana stand,’ and soon it became a popular treat. A decade later, with the newfound rise in baking soda and the infamous cabaret stylings of Josephine Baker everyone was singing the banana song.
While the recipe for banana bread first appeared in the 1933 Pilsbury cookbook, Balanced Recipes, it didn’t become truly accepted until the release of the original Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book in 1950: one can imagine that the bread would have been a natural evolution of 1950s American housewives’ desire to combine a bit of unabashed sass with a comforting food for their families. Today, banana bread has become both a global craze and an emblem of home comfort, just check out these recent articles from The Telegraph and Bon Appétit: The Global Banana-bread Craze and Andrew McCarthy’s Banana Bread Quest. When you’re finished reading all about it, why not try this simple recipe – the yogurt keeps it moist while the cinnamon gives it just a hint of spice – a winning combination for any brunch party or dessert treat, served, of course, à la mode.
Banana Nut Bread w/Chocolate (makes 1 large loaf)
4 ripe bananas
1/4 cup (57 g) butter, melted
1 cup (225 g) sugar
1 1/2 cups (188 g) flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg, beaten
3 tsp plain yogurt
2 good handfuls each of chopped walnuts and chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C).
- Cut the bananas into slices and then mash in a large bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix together using a wooden spoon.
- Bake in a buttered loaf pan until a toothpick stuck into the bread comes out clean (approximately 50-55 min). Let cool for 10 min. Slice and serve.