Bananas make better s’mores. Trust me. Forget marshmallows—imagine the sweetest roasted plantain you’ve ever had, between two graham crackers, eaten around a fire. I think it was two years ago, when we accidentally discovered this, all of our friends started coming up with ways that they could somehow patent and/or market this idea. None of them did, and I’ve decided that the statute of limitations is up, and it’s time to share it. Maybe I should have asked them? Um, too late.
So, the idea is pretty simple: roast bananas over a campfire, and then eat with graham crackers, and chocolate if you wish. You may be surprised at how good this is. We have tried roasting the bananas in tin foil, in their skins, and on a fork, all with some degree of success. The fork is my favorite because it gives you a nice caramelized crust, but patience is definitely required, and vigilant guarding of the bananas from outright burning. It takes longer to cook a banana by the fire than to roast a marshmallow, but it’s totally worth it.
You need a fork with two tines. A stick that goes through the banana in only one place will allow it to rotate, and makes it just about impossible to cook both sides. Also, starting with a piece of banana that isn’t too large and unwieldy will help. Last time we did this, I distinctly remember that if you were careful when roasting, the outsides of the banana got not only caramelized but downright bubbly. This time, they came out a little more dry on the outside, as if baked in a crust, but were still delicious. I strongly suspect that the riper the banana you start with, the more likely you are to achieve a sweet bubbly caramel outside. I haven’t yet had a chance to try out this theory completely. If you do, please report back!
If you want to make s’mores with your roasted banana pieces, do it while they are still hot and can melt the chocolate. I recommend dark chocolate, since it’s my favorite. The warm caramelized banana is also super delicious just by itself between two graham crackers.
You have at least one more campfire in your summer, right? (If you are reading this from the southern hemisphere, I’m kind of jealous that you’re just heading into spring and summer.) I love love love this time of year, not just because it contains my birthday, but because it seems like all the bounty of the harvest is pouring right into my lap. Every farm stand and market is bursting with luscious tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, and the first apples, all at the same time. Trees in the yard of the dear people we’re staying with are positively dripping with pears and plums. I think it’s such a shame that people mentally move on to fall, Halloween, back to school, and all that nonsense, when the whole bounty of nature is before us, and the days are still warm and long enough to savor it. Ok, so bananas are not exactly local produce in my part of the world, but roasting them is another way to enjoy these lovely days.
Yes, there is a fallen banana in the back of this shot. I rescued part of it.
By the way, speaking of extended summer, if you try to contact me in the next week or so and don’t hear back, it’s likely because I’m in Curaçao! At a friend’s wedding. Hopefully swimming in the ocean and eating lots of exotic fruit. I hope you have some great adventures planned as well. The close-to-home, campfire kind will do just fine.