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Bananas Foster is a classic New Orleans dessert that combines sliced bananas with a buttery rum sauce served over vanilla ice cream.

The ingredients typically include:

Some variations of the recipe also include different types of nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc.) for a nutty flavor and welcome crunch. 

The dish is often prepared tableside in restaurants as a flambé. Would you like to know more about this exquisite dessert and learn how to prepare it at home? 

What Is the Flambé Technique?

The flambé technique is a cooking procedure where a hot pan is used to ignite a liquor (cognac, rum, or other high-proof spirits) to create a burst of flames. 

This process is often used to add flavor (and drama!) to dishes, particularly desserts and savory dishes like Bananas Foster, Cherries Jubilee, and Crêpes Suzette.

Definitely, tableside Bananas Foster preparation is a spectacle that no dessert lovers should miss.

Flambé Technique

The Origins of Bananas Foster, a New Orleans Staple 

The origins of Bananas Foster can be traced back to the 1950s, when New Orleans was a major port city for bananas imported from Central and South America.

Owen Brennan, the owner of a restaurant called Brennan’s, wanted to promote bananas; so, in 1951, he challenged his chef, Paul Blangé, to create a new dessert featuring the fruit. 

It’s said that Blangé and Brennan’s sister Ella came up with the idea for Bananas Foster, which was inspired by a memory of childhood breakfasts of sautéed bananas. Thus, Bananas Foster was born.

Why Is It Called Bananas Foster?

Its name is a tribute to Richard Foster, a friend of Brennan’s who was the chairman of the New Orleans Crime Commission.

The dessert became a New Orleans staple and a delightful way to enjoy the influx of bananas.

How to Prepare Bananas Foster at Home

Making this dessert at home is surprisingly easy! Let’s have a look at this simple Bananas Foster recipe.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice the bananas.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. 
  3. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, stirring until the sugar dissolves and creates a smooth sauce.
  4. Add the sliced bananas to the pan and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, tossing gently, until they are slightly softened and caramelized around the edges.
  5. Carefully pour the rum and banana liqueur into the pan, tilting it slightly away from you. Using a long lighter, ignite the rum vapors (be cautious and avoid burning yourself!). Let the flames subside naturally, don’t blow them out.* 
  6. Spoon the hot bananas and rum sauce over scoops of vanilla ice cream. The ice cream will help cool down the dish and create a delicious contrast of warm and cold. 

*Note: This step adds a dramatic flair but is optional due to the alcohol.

Tips and Tricks to Take into Account

What Is the Best Rum for Bananas Foster?

When choosing a Bananas Foster rum, it’s important to pick one that enhances its flavor. 

Dark rum is the most commonly used in this dessert because of its robust flavor profile, which includes notes of caramel, molasses, and spices. The rich and deep flavors of dark rum blend perfectly with the caramelized bananas and brown sugar.

We recommend:

When choosing the rum, take into account these tips:

What Is the Best Banana Liqueur for Bananas Foster?

When selecting a banana liqueur, you’ll want one that provides a rich, authentic banana flavor that complements the dish without overwhelming it. 

We recommend:

  1. Giffard Banane du Brésil: This French liqueur is known for its intense and natural banana flavor.
  2. 99 Bananas: A well-known brand, 99 Bananas offers a bold and sweet banana liqueur.
  3. Bols Banana: It has a smooth and creamy texture with a ripe banana flavor.
  4. DeKuyper Crème de Banana: This is a widely available brand that offers a smooth and sweet banana liqueur with a hint of tropical fruitiness.
  5. Marie Brizard Crème de Banane: This French liqueur offers a ripe banana flavor with subtle hints of caramel and vanilla.

Can I Prepare Bananas Foster without Rum?

Bananas Foster recipe with banana liqueur and rum is a classic, but, if you prefer a non-alcoholic version of the dessert, you can prepare it and it will still be delicious, maintaining the delightful caramelized banana flavor.

Instead of alcohol, i.e., instead of adding banana liqueur and dark rum, add 1/2 cup of apple juice or orange juice along with 1/2 cup of water. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a gentle boil, allowing it to thicken slightly. This will help create the rich sauce without the need for alcohol.

If you prefer, you can experiment with different types of juice, like pineapple juice or a combination of juices. Feel free to add a pinch of nutmeg or a dash of ground cloves for extra warmth and spice.

Since you’re preparing your Bananas Foster without alcohol, there’s no need to flambé, making this version safer and suitable for all ages.

Bananas Foster: Fanning the Flames of Flavor

Bananas Foster remains a favorite for its dramatic presentation and delectable taste. And it’s a special treat—not as commonly found as more standard dessert options.

But, as the best restaurant in Atlanta, Mission + Market is one of the few with Bananas Foster on the menu.
So, next time you’re in the mood for something spectacular and unique, visit us and let this great dessert ignite your senses!

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