Bananas, Taught New Tricks, Can Perform Wonders

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Vegan fish and chips from Sutton and Sons. Photograph: Sutton and Sons

The last time I posted on banana blossoms it was because a bunch of bananas outside our kitchen window coincided with an article about vegan fish and chips. Today, a bit more of the same coincidental mixing of kitchen and reading. I just tasted a sample of the fifth batch of banana ceviche made by the kitchen assistant for Organikos, who spent seven years assisting in the kitchen of a Peruvian family. Each time she has made banana ceviche I have wondered whether it was a lucky batch. It is that good. And today’s was as good as each previous batch. Now as I turn to my review of options for what to post about on this platform, I have encountered a story with the photo above, and the photo below, with a headline guaranteed to pull me in:

Banana blossom: the next vegan food star with the texture of fish

Sainsbury’s is to include the flower, which hails from south-east Asia, in its ready meals

Thanks to Anna Berrill and the Guardian for that, and for the several ideas that will guide me at the farmer’s market this morning:

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Banana blossom can also be eaten raw and has a chunky, flaky texture. Photograph: Suwatwongkham/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Following on from beetroot burgers and jackfruit curries, the next star of the vegan “meat” world hails from the gardens of south-east Asia and looks somewhat like an artichoke.

Banana blossom, also known as a “banana heart”, is a fleshy, purple-skinned flower, shaped like a tear, which grows at the end of a banana fruit cluster. Traditionally used in south-east Asian and Indian cooking, it can also be eaten raw and its chunky, flaky texture makes it an ideal substitute for fish.

Sainsbury’s, which will be rolling out a series of plant-based meals later this year, is to include banana blossom in its ready meals in the hope the flower will catch on among a burgeoning population of shoppers looking for meat-free alternatives.

Alexa Masterson-Jones, the trends and innovation manager at Sainsbury’s, said: “I was in a restaurant called Little Kolkata [in London] with my team, and we ordered a banana blossom kofta.

“When it arrived, we thought they had mistakenly given us a lamb kofta, because it tasted so meaty. We thought this was an amazing new ingredient, but a colleague, Jay, who grew up in Kolkata, said ‘When I was growing up, we grew banana blossom at the bottom of the garden’.”

Alexa Masterson-Jones, the trends and innovation manager at Sainsbury’s, said: “I was in a restaurant called Little Kolkata [in London] with my team, and we ordered a banana blossom kofta.

“When it arrived, we thought they had mistakenly given us a lamb kofta, because it tasted so meaty. We thought this was an amazing new ingredient, but a colleague, Jay, who grew up in Kolkata, said ‘When I was growing up, we grew banana blossom at the bottom of the garden’.”…

Read the whole story here.

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