Photo of the Day

Banana Candles. You see that stuff on the sides? Mayo. That red thing on the tip? Maraschino Cherry. The base? Pineapple. 

Be Bold with Bananas (1972)

‘Be Bold With Bananas’ is a 64-page cookbook stacked with recipes that encouraged 1970’s budding gourmet chefs to give the humble yellow fruit more of ago when preparing a meal…

I found this Amazing old cookbook from 1972 that contains a stack of recipes featuring a mostly overlooked ingredient when it comes to preparing dinner…the banana!

In 1972, Fruit Distributors Limited published Be Bold With Bananas for Banana Importers of Wellington, New Zealand. The book, 64-pages long and printed in Capetown, South Africa, was later distributed in Australia by the country’s Banana Growers Association. Fruit Distributors Ltd imported bananas from the Pacific Islands. Its shareholders were the major fruit merchants of New Zealand. And they wanted consumers to know that bananas were the right food whatever the time.

The blurb says: “Among the extraordinary features of this book are the beautiful, full-page, colour photographs of many of the delectable recipes.”

Recipes include:

Banana Sausages
Bananas and Ham
Curried Meat with Banana (Choose between Chuck Steak or Chicken)
Potato and Banana Nests
Banana Duck in Orange Sauce
Banana Paella
Banana-Condensed Milk Tart
Banana Foam
Poor Mans Banana Pudding
Banana and Egg Salad
Spanish Stew

And: Banana Candles. Yep…why not drizzle MAYONNAISE onto an upright banana and place a cherry on top…nothing suss about that…!

It has been an awful “library” book and not just a weird book…and it is.  The holdings are mostly in New Zealand and South Africa, but an ALB is an ALB. Universally.

It’s not just that it is 45 years old.  It’s not just that it has that horrible “plastic food” photography. It’s not just that it has very strange ideas of what to do with bananas.  It’s all of those things combined.

So, if you’re thinking of ‘changing things up’ in the kitchen, next time you’re cooking dinner why not take some inspiration and throw in a banana or two.

Or not.

My thoughts… Be Bold, be bold, but not too bold with bananas!

And I WANT it for my family’s Christmas gag gift exchange.



  • 3 bananas
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 pineapple rings
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 glacé cherries


  • Halve the bananas crosswise, dip in lemon juice and place each half, end uppermost, in a pineapple ring.
  • Drip mayonnaise down the sides of the bananas.
  • Using a toothpick, fix half a cherry on top of each banana.
  • It will resemble a burning candle in its holder.
  • Place each “banana candle” on a small plate, lined with lettuce leaves.
  • Orange slices can be used instead of pineapple rings.

Serves 6.

Be Bold with Bananas cover



  • 2 tablespoons butter or fat
  • 2 medium-sized onions, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (or to taste)
  • 900 grams (2 lb) chuck steak or chicken
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, skinned
  • 4 bananas, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup sultanas
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 large apple, grated
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  • Heat the butter or fat in a saucepan.
  • Add the onion and garlic and brown slightly.
  • Stir in the curry powder and allow to cook for a few more minutes.
  • Cut the meat into portions and place in a casserole together with the peppercorns and bay leaves.
  • Add the curry mixture.
  • Add the water, cover and cook for 2 hours at 150°C (300°F).
  • Remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • Cook for a further hour.
  • Serve with rice, apricot chutney and a tomato salad.

Serves 4.

Perhaps you prefer fish? Banana sushi anyone? Salmon wrapped around your Banana.

Banana Flambe



  • 10 bananas
  • lemon juice
  • castor sugar
  • melted butter
  • brandy


  • Peel bananas and pack them in a row in a greased casserole.
  • Sprinkle with lemon juice and castor sugar and pour over melted butter.
  • Bake in a medium oven 180°C (350°F) until golden-brown.
  • Pour over a ½ glass of brandy, set alight, and bring flaming to the table.
  • Serve with whipped cream.

Serves 5.

Put another shrimp and banana on the plate.

No. Just NO. Banana Nests
Potato and Banana baked together and then made to hold stuff. Then stuffed with what I thought was maybe raw meat of some kind. It was apricot chutney.



  • 6 bananas
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon apricot chutney
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • mashed potato


  • Mash bananas and mix with the lemon juice, butter, chutney and salt.
  • Cook for approximately 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Pipe mashed potato in round or oval nests.
  • Fill each nest with 1 tablespoonful of the banana mixture.

Serves 3-6.

Banana Duck in Orange Sauce Trick your friends into eating bananas that look like sausages.



  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 medium duck
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • ¼ cup rum (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
  • 2 bay leaves or lemon leaves
  • 3 bananas, sliced


  • Sprinkle the lemon juice on the outside and the inside of the duck.
  • Rub in the salt and pepper.
  • Place in a casserole.
  • Roast in a warm oven 215°C (425°F) for 30 minutes, basting from time to time with its own fat.
  • Reduce heat to 180°C (350°F) and continue cooking for another hour.
  • Drain off the fat.
  • Add orange juice, orange rind, bay leaves (or lemon leaves) and rum to the duck.
  • Continue roasting in a medium oven until the duck is tender and brown.
  • Baste continually with the sauce.
  • For a particularly grand sauce, add 1 tablespoon chopped nuts and 1 tablespoon Van der Hum liqueur.

Serves 6.

Banana Meatloaf. “But where’s the banana?” You ask. You think it might be yellow inside the meatloaf, but no. That is an egg. The banana is in the meatloaf itself. Tricky banana.



  • 900 grammes (2 lb) minced meat
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 thick slices bread, soaked in water
  • 1½ cups mashed banana (about 5 bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 3-4 hard-boiled eggs


  • Mix together all the ingredients except the eggs.
  • Place half the meat mixture in a greased loaf tin.
  • Shell the hard-boiled eggs and arrange, lengthwise, down the centre of the dish.
  • Add the rest of the meat mixture and press down firmly.
  • Bake for 1 hour in a moderate oven 180°C (350°F)
  • This loaf can be eaten hot or cold and should be sliced before serving.

Yields 10-15 slices.

Banana Jelly. Purple banana jelly????



  • 1½ packets red jelly
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • ¼ cup sweet red wine
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 6 ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  • Dissolve jelly in boiling water and allow to cool.
  • Stir in the wine and milk.
  • Mash bananas and blend with sugar.
  • Fold mashed bananas into jelly as soon as the jelly begins to set.
  • Pour into a mould which has been rinsed in cold water.
  • Allow to set.
  • Un-mould and decorate with banana slices and cream.

Serves 5-6.

Curried Bananas. Yes, curried bananas. Yes, those are eggs. Why eggs? I don’t know.



  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or to taste)
  • 1 cooking apple, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 tablespoon apricot jam
  • 2½ tablespoons vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 bananas


  • Brown the onion in butter.
  • Stir in the curry powder and fry for a few minutes longer.
  • Add remaining ingredients, except bananas.
  • Cover pan and cook gently for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Halve the bananas lengthwise and pack them in the sauce.
  • Cook gently for a further 10 minutes.
  • Arrange bananas in the centre of a serving dish, surround with cooked rice and hard-boiled egg-halves.
  • Garnish with tomato and green-pepper rings.

Serves 2.

Pork Cutlets with Bananas.



  • 4 pork cutlets
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 sweet potatoes (kumaras), peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Sauce Ingredients

  • ¾ cup tomato purée
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt to taste


  • Mix together all sauce ingredients.
  • Marinate the cutlets in the sauce for 1-2 hours.
  • Insert a clove into each cutlet.
  • Place the cutlets in a casserole, greased with oil.
  • Cover with the bananas and sweet potatoes (kumaras).
  • Sprinkle with sugar, dot with butter and bake in a moderate oven 180°C (350°F) until the meat is brown and tender.

Serves 4.

Banana Crumble. Pies shouldn’t look like mashed potatoes and taste like bananas.



  • 18 sweet plain biscuits, crushed
  • cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar

Filling Ingredients

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 18 marshmallows
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2½ tablespoons castor sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence


  • Mix all the ingredients and press firmly into a pie dish.
  • Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

Filling Procedure

  • Slice bananas and sprinkle with lemon juice.
  • Cut marshmallows into small pieces.
  • Whip cream with sugar until stiff and stir in the vanilla.
  • Fold banana and marshmallows into the cream.
  • Spoon into the pie crust and decorate as desired.

Yields 12 portions.

And whatever the hell these dodgy looking meals are featuring the ever adaptable banana!



  • 6 bananas
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 6 Vienna sausages
  • 6 rashers bacon
  • 6 pineapple rings


  • Peel the bananas and dip them in lemon juice.
  • Cut each banana in half lengthwise, and place a sausage between the two halves.
  • Wrap a rasher of bacon round each banana sandwich and secure with a wooden toothpick.
  • Cut a hole in the centre of each pineapple ring, and press a banana-sausage into each.
  • Place on a greased baking dish under the grill for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Serve for lunch or dinner.

Serves 6.



  • 1 chicken
  • flour
  • 6 rashers bacon
  • 3 large bananas
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Prepare the chicken.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub in a little flour.
  • Cover the breast with the bacon.
  • Peel the bananas and quarter, dip in lemon juice and place inside the chicken.
  • Pour over remaining lemon juice and dot with butter.
  • Wrap in foil and bake for 2 hours in a medium oven 190°C (375°F) or until meat is tender.
  • Fold back foil and allow chicken to brown.

Serves 6-8.

Banana Salad Mold.
Banana, apple, pineapple and peas in plain jelly. Then you fill it with olives and tomatoes. Death and chaos will reign supreme.

“Be bold with Bananas” – An essential book for Xmas lunch inspiration. As seen in the play Silent Night.

Revised Edition. I cannot believe it was popular enough to warrant a reprint…!

Be Bold With Bananas has been updated.
In 2015, Germany’s Salon Publishing published a new version. Martin Parr added his own cover image. He writes: “I was immediately struck when I saw Be Bold with Bananas. It had some wonderful sexual undertones and was just plain surreal. The title is also very ambivalent.”

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