There are many varieties of bananas grown in Central and South America that are not exported. The one best known in the United States is the Gross Michael; I have noticed, however, in the markets of New York large quantities of the ordinary red banana, and a yellow banana, short and thick like the red one, known as the Congo, and a white, thick banana, the Governor "fig," also known in some parts of South America as the apple "fig." All bananas are known to the natives in the districts where bananas grow, as Indian "figs." The word banana, however, is always applied to the red banana.
Bananas are, without doubt, the most nutritious of all fruits in common use. They should not, however, be given to the sick or children unless they are thoroughly and-simply cooked. The so-called "lady fingers" or Gross Michaels are best for cooking.
Banana flour is made from underripe bananas, thoroughly dried and ground. It is exceedingly good for diabetic, rheumatic and gouty patients. It may be made into mush, or gems, or small cakes.
Take the banana out of the skin by stripping off one piece and then lifting it out. If you strip the skin down you are very apt to leave the bitter portion fast to the fruit. Put the banana into an earthen or granite baking dish, brush it with a tablespoonful of olive oil, dust it with a teaspoonful of granulated sugar and bake in a quick oven thirty minutes. Bananas to be just right should be a golden brown and very tender. Serve warm.
Peel the banana and cut it into thin slices with a silver knife. Put a layer in the bottom of individual casserole or ramekin dish, a little dusting- of sugar, another layer of banana, and so continue until you have the ingredients used. Bake thirty minutes in a moderately quick oven.
Select a full ripe banana, skin and mash it; put it in a saucepan with a tablespoonful of orange juice and a tablespoonful of sugar. When hot fold into it carefully the well-beaten white of one egg. Serve cold.
This is made from banana flour, which is easily digested and very agreeable. It frequently contains just a trace of glucose.
Put a half cupful of water into a saucepan, when boiling add two tablespoonfuls of milk. Moisten two teaspoonfuls of banana flour, stir it into the hot milk and water, bring to a boil, and take from the fire. The flavoring of this may be changed by adding a little orange or lemon juice, by making the gruel entire milk, or entire water. Serve with cream.
This is an exceedingly nice mush for delicate children or invalids, but is not a good food for diabetic patients unless a starch-free flour is used.
Separate one egg, beat the yolk with a tablespoonful of powdered sugar. Peel and slice a ripe banana, put it in a saucepan and stir it constantly over hot water until thoroughly heated, mash and add the yolk and sugar, cook a minute longer, fold in the well-beaten white; heap it in ramekin or Individual dish, dust with powdered sugar and bake in a quick oven until a golden brown. A nice breakfast for a child, or an invalid or the aged.
Peel a banana, cut it in slices a half inch thick using a silver knife; put it in a saucepan with four tablespoon-fuls of cold water and a teaspoonful of orange or lemon juice; cover and bring quickly to a boil. Serve warm or cold.
Stew the bananas according to the preceding recipe, and beat with a silver fork until light; stand aside to cool. When cool, add two tablespoonfuls of sherry instead of the lemon, and stir in carefully six tablespoonfuls of cream, whipped to a stiff froth. Serve in a pretty stem glass dish.