ne man’s trash is another man’s treasure” – we all know that age old proverb, right? Well, if you have some overripe, blackened bananas, covered with brown spots laying around, give me a call – because, the darker and uglier the bananas are, the more flavor they’ll bring to my banana bread! Yummy!
Wait! Is “banana bread” a bread, or – a cake!?
Oops! You got me there! In my book, banana bread is a dessert! I have never heard that someone ate banana bread with, say…scrambled eggs, or a barbecue, have you? On the other hand, sure, it is baked in a loaf pan, but hey, there is no salt in it, or yeast, because banana bread is a quick bread already, so like cake (and unlike regular bread), it doesn’t need time to rise! So, my final answer is: “Banana bread is not a bread, it is a cake!”
Is banana bread a byproduct of America’s Great Depression?
Well, as strange as it may seem – yes, it is! You see, in 1929, the US economy crashed causing America’s Great Depression. By 1933 around 15 million Americans were unemployed and emergency food programs were set up to prevent starvation. Bananas appeared in the US in the 1870s and it took a while for them to appear as ingredient items for desserts. The modern banana bread recipe appeared in cookbooks around the 1930s and its popularity was greatly helped by the introduction of baking powder on the market.
Truth is that the baking powder was invented much earlier, in 1856 by a Harvard chemistry professor Eben Norton Horsford, who called it ‘yeast powder’ and began to be commercially produced at the start of the 1900s. Some food historians believe banana bread was a byproduct of the Great Depression as resourceful housewives did not wish to throw away overripe bananas. Others believe that the modern banana bread was developed in corporate kitchens to promote flour and baking soda products. It could also be a combination of both theories, nobody knows!
Get this – bananas are radioactive!
Yep, that’s right – radioactive! According to Wikipedia, the radiation exposure from consuming a banana is approximately 1% of the average daily exposure to radiation. So, don’t worry, first – this is an extremely small dose, and second – it is evacuated from the body within a couple of hours via kidney function. But still – crazy, right? So, how is this possible? Well – it’s the potassium! Every banana contains about half a gram of potassium and a part of it is the unstable isotope potassium-40, hence the radiation. Crazy, crazy stuff!
Well, what do you think about this post?
I read and really appreciate all the comments, even though I do not always have the time to respond to each one. So – keep me in the loop and try to create some sweetness every day because – Sweetness is happiness!!