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Ohh, that looks delectable! It's cruel - I havent had a banana in months - not since storms wiped out much of our banana crop and bananas cost AU$12 a kilo in the shops...


The flattening technique reminds me of the banana fritters that are served up street-side in Hanoi during the winter. The similarity ends there - your banana pancake wins hands down. That is right up my alley.

Now, be honest, how many did you eat?


Rather different, but also going in the direction of flattening a banana is that wonderful Chicago-Puerto-Rican invention called the jibarito, really one of the most brilliant street food forms to have emerged from my city.

Here's Monica Eng of the Chicago Tribune on the jibarito:



Also flattened are those wonderful things called tostones throughout the Caribbean (Cuba, Puerto-Rico, Dominican Republic; but in Haiti, they are called bananes pesees-weighted-down bananas). Unripe bananas (not ripe ones as above) are sliced into rounds, fried on each side, flattened (usually with the bottom of a glass), and then refried. The flattening occurs between the double frying, which is essential. Tostones are not street food, but are usually served, along with rice and beans, as the starch component of a meal.

Certain kinds of banana chips as well as various banana delicacies (such as the pinasugbo) might also require a bit of flattening. But the process of (traditional Indonesia/Filipino) banana chip-making is a little unclear to me. I have to look this up.

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looks amazing... i might just try out a home made version later! looks too delectable!


I checked: the Visayan (Ilonggo) specialty called pinasugbo is not pressed at all. Most kripik pisang (Indonesia banana "chips") are not flattened either but take on the flattened look through the drying process.

As a veteran of the whole Lonely Planet/banana pancake trail, I must say that I never cared too much for it while travelling through Asia after school. But recalling it has brought back so many fond and tearful memories of glorious slackerdom in marvellous timeless villages like Sagada or Mae Hong Song or even in chaotic raucous "backpacker's ghettos" like the Jalan Jaksa neighborhood of Jakarta. Even Alford and Duguid were forced by the sheer tug of nostalgia for "that" way of life to include a recipe (was it for the banana pancake or was it for the shake?) of it in their book.

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(Travelling to China in October: maybe I will encounter "the" banana pancake again in Kunming, or in Yangshuo...)

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