Bananas on your burger?

img_3239I have a new found appreciation for bananas. The miracle fruit, as it is sometimes referred to for its valuable nutritious content, found its way into my heart on a recent escape to St.Lucia. This island on the West Indies with a population of about 150,000  is drenched in English, French and African hues, and resulted in a surprising discovery. Geographically,  it combined the lush terrain of the Brazilian Amazon with  emerald beaches. Driving along its curvy roads, banana plantations stretched  along the way, its tiers covered in blue plastic for protection from the sun and insects.

Bananas are one of the island’s main crops and along with tourism, one of its primary sources of revenue. And understandably so, each St.Lucian banana is a sunny gem of nature that’s honey sweet  and spiced with cloves. They were a ubiquitous snack, sprawled on a roadside stand by the jungle and on a boat that took me sailing along the island’s coasts.

Cramming my suitcase full of them would have  brightened up my kitchen in New York for days to come. But instead I opted for the next best thing: banana ketchup. Locals use it like our beloved Heinz and smear it on their burgers and fries.Yellow, tangy  and mildly sweet but infused with an authentic banana essence, it is the sunniest condiment in my pantry to date.

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