When is a tree not a tree....when it is a banana tree, which is in fact a plant, to be more precise the world's largest herb!
*We wondered why the creole chose to call them fig when they are nothing like figs but then discovered that in english they are called fingers so maybe there is a link there...
This has been such a complicated subject for me, I am only just getting my head around it now, after five visits to the West Indies! Bananas back in the UK are very straightforward - the only question for debate is fair trade or not, and now even that is resolved by shopping at Sainsburys. However, here there are many different varieties and names and ways of cooking and eating so it is helpful for me to have it all written down at last.
Firstly a bit on the banana tree itself. Thanks to Mamie and Bertie for taking the time out of their work to explain it to me several times last week!
The banana tree takes about six months to grow from a tiny plant to producing its one and only bunch of bananas. At some point during this period, small banana trees will begin to grow out of the root. These will then grow and produce their own bunches (regime) whilst the original tree will die once the bunch has been cut off and its stem will rot down.
The tree produces a purple flower, the banana heart, and the bananas begin growing inside. Courtesy of Mum
Courtesy of Mum
Cooking - these are ONLY cooked when green and NOT in their skins. One of Mamie's special dishes from her home island of Marie-Galante is made with diced poyo. When they turn yellow they are enjoyed as normal eating bananas or put into delicious cakes, tarts etc.
Photos: Pika unless otherwise stated