Native Vs. Exotic Plants

Fried Bananas

Only once during my stay in Brazil did I eat bonafide fried bananas. They were fabulous, and in life bore no resemblance to my own, the foliage of which greeted me after my 20-hour plane trip home.

banana in winter

This humiliated specimen is right outside my living room window, begging me to cut it back to the ground. photo credit: Ketzel Levine, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption photo credit: Ketzel Levine, NPR

Certainly this dried and dessicated visage is nothing new; it's what happens to banana foliage here in Z8 if you don't wrap it. They once offered a banana-wrapping class at Portland's Classical Chinese Garden (guess who didn't attend); when it's done well, it is indeed art.

I prefer au naturale, but only because I'm tres lazay.

So let's contrast and compare, shall we? Above, what I came home to, and below, what I left behind.

generic jungle green

From the ground up (on an average, @90 feet), the Brazilian Amazon is simply, irrepressibly, green. It's also hell to photograph without filters. photo credit: Ketzel Levine, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption photo credit: Ketzel Levine, NPR

I've got lots of stories and great shots I do intend to post, and soon — any day now — but I'm also trying to crank out the Morning Edition radio story from the Amazon, which cramps my blog time. Speaking of which, you guys have also been pretty quiet of late; is everyone en vacance?



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Are the fried bananas similar to fried plantains? In Jamaica, we also boil green bananas.

Sent by Georgia | 10:00 PM | 1-23-2008

I, too, have eaten fried bananas at the very Southwestern tip of Mexico, at the cliffs overlooking the Pacific. My husband and I would go the the market every day and choose one of the many varities of bananas there. There were tiny red, purple, or green ones, along with a giant variety whose color was closer to orange than yellow. I would slit the skins and slice them length or crosswise. In the slices would go into a skillet with butter. The tiny red bananas were the best. They had a fantastic aroma and almost floral taste. YUM!

Sent by Jeannie C | 11:29 AM | 1-25-2008

Looking at the lush foilage I am speachless. It is 33 degrees and very dry here in Albuquerque. I can almost feel the humidity when I look at the Tropical posts you have had recently.

Sent by Maggie | 11:36 AM | 1-25-2008

I'm looking at my Red Banana plant here in my has one lonely Charlie Brown leaf left. But it's lush and even has a drip of water on it's tip so I guess I'll leave it until it's really ready for bed.
Mmmmmm...fried bananas!

Sent by Tiffany | 6:54 PM | 1-30-2008

wow. thats a difference.
you know in mexico we also fry bannanas just as Jeannie said but its not just in the soutwestern tip.
Its all over.
In Vallarta, I have dozens fruit trees so we do thousands of things with them.
In Guadalajara, we slice them, dip them in oil, put sugar and cinnamon on them ,and we eat them only on special occasions.
Its funny how were all realted in some way or another, how in reality, we all came from one place.

Sent by Yessica | 1:25 PM | 2-13-2008