I'm an indifferent cook, and mostly-vegan. But I like to be adventurous in my eating habits, when I can. So I decided to follow and then adapt this intriguing recipe for "banana peel bacon".
OK. But Why?
Food waste is a big issue. People throw away lots of perfectly edible food. They also discard tonnes of packaging. The next logical step, it seems to me, is to have edible packaging. Bananas are well known for their thick protective coating. It's just plant matter, so why can't it be eaten to help reduce waste? You add citrus fruit peel to all sorts of dishes for flavour, so why not give the humble 'nana a go?
OK. But How?
- Wait for your banana to ripen - it should have no green on it, and be going dark and spotty.
- Wash the unpeeled banana and dry it.
- Chop off a few cm from the top and bottom.
- Slice the peel away in strips.
- Eat banana!
- With the back of a knife, scrape off the inside layer of the banana peel and discard.
OK. But What?
I made a basic marinade. Big glug of dark Soy Sauce. Couple of dashes of tobasco. Squirt of golden syrup / honey. Sprinkle of smoked paprika and garlic powder. Basically, whatever flavours you'd like. Then leave for a couple of hours.
Heat up oil in a pan. Add strips.
Let it sizzle for about 90 seconds on each side.
Take from the pan and dry on some paper towels to remove excess oil.
OK. But Eat?
Yup! Try a little nibble first, just to make sure it's OK. Then munch. Try it on top of plain rice, or in a sandwich, or with an omelette, or... you know what? You're a clever cook, figure it out.
Tastes like bacon!
OK. But Bacon?
I'll cheerfully admit that this tastes as much like bacon as bacon-flavoured crisps do! It is a "flavour carrier" recipe. It's salty and spicy. If you over-cook it, then it is a bit like American crispy bacon in texture. Undercook it, and it's a bit like squidgy Danish bacon. Get it just right and it's a bit more like jerky.
Even when I was a meat eater, I'd find that lots of meat was essentially just the flavour of whatever sauce you drowned it in. A cheap cheese burger is the same taste as a cheap veggie burger - mostly salt, cheese, pickle, and herbs. Your barbecue pork mostly tastes of BBQ sauce, so why not swap for jackfruit?
OK. But Really?
Yes! Really! I've had this dish twice and haven't died yet. No indigestion or other weird symptoms. I don't really believe the claims that banana skins are somehow magically nutritious or will cure your weird disease. It's just a fun and unusual dish to cook - and results in marginally less food waste.
Try it, what have you got to lose?