March 07, 2002
ODE TO A BANANA
Heres some food for thought and heres a riddle for you:
Im the vegetable
or am I a fruit?
that the serpent who tempted Eve supposedly hid among. What I really am the worlds largest herb, and I didnt become popular in America until after world war one. I give lie to the dictum that all staple foods of the world are either cereals or root crops, and the first European to eat one of me was probably Napoleon, even though the only European country that grows me is Iceland (on soil heated by geysers of all things
..and the first European to lay eyes on me
a guy with the unappetizing name of Antonio Pigafetta, some Eyetalian guy who hitched a ride on Magellans voyage, thought I was a giant fig
still with me? Well Im high in phosphorus and potassium, and two of my most delectable varieties are the rare red and dwarf, (only found in the Canary Islands). One of my strains is sweet and the other starchy, and Im only cultivated with the help of humans
who got rid of my seeds and rendered me sterile, to make me oh so much more appetizing, especially when strained for children, who become children because their parents werent
sterile that is
meaning I can only be propogated now with human assistance. Im African in origin, and whether split souffleed, baked, pied, or fostered, I always take the cake
Who am I??? Well if you guessed the banana, youd be right
and if youre looking for some of the best desserts in town featuring this delectable herb, Id start at Emerils in the MGM, where his super-high cream pie which will renew your interest in this American classic. From there I command you to Commanders Palace, where they foster new appreciation for bananas that way
and if youre still feeling silly, Id truck on over to Cili and dive into an ethereal custard floating in a teeny tiny pie shell in a post-modern re-definition of what you used to think was a pie. Three restaurants, three desserts, in three days
yes it was my very own personal bananarama
and it was tres delish
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