On the occasion of the inauguration of the Plátano de Canarias stand at Fruit Attraction, in Madrid, the Association of Banana Producer Organizations of the Canary Islands (ASPROCAN), which owns the brand, presented the book "Plátano de Canarias en la Cocina" ("Canary bananas in the Kitchen"), directed and prepared by the renowned chefs Torres Brothers. The book explains in detail how this has become an innovative and healthy ingredient for professional cooking, but also for the domestic environment.
After a year of work and research, which has included a visit to Canary banana plantations and the carrying out of multiple and innovative techniques and experiments with the fruit, the Torres Brothers have managed to compile a number of surprising recipes; a wide range of new uses for Canary bananas for both haute cuisine and popular cuisine.
"The bananas grown in the Canary Islands have their own unique organoleptic properties, and although they have traditionally been an ingredient associated with sweet creations, we have taken advantage of those properties to demonstrate that they also have plenty of potential as an ingredient for savory dishes," said the chefs Sergio and Javier Torres during the presentation of the book.
The Torres Brothers expressed their conviction that, "with the right knowledge, the bananas of the Canary Islands can become a very versatile ingredient in professional cooking."
The book's authors assured that the bananas grown in the Canary Islands "can be used as a replacement for eggs, potatoes or wheat flour, being able to function as a main ingredient or as a replacement for other, more common ones which may be causing intolerances. Moreover, they can be used in cocktails and yield very good results in unusual mixes."
Pickled or marinated
When it comes to techniques for their better conservation, the Torres Brothers recalled that it is "a subtropical fruit, so it is convenient to keep it at room temperature. In a restaurant, it is advisable to keep them at 10 to 12 degrees Celsius and in a dry place."
The chefs also proposed pickling bananas, not only as a conservation technique, but also to give them new uses as a cooking ingredient. "Although the idea may seem preposterous, the truth is that after giving it a try, the result was great. The Canary banana, once pickled, still maintains its sweet taste, but the vinegar used during the process gives it a very refreshing sour touch."
It is also possible to marinate it. "This cooking technique makes it possible to use the banana as if it were a dried fruit."
"A superfood that can protect your health"
The growing healthy eating trends contrast with the continued decline in fruit consumption in Spain; therefore, "the new uses for Canary bananas give us an excellent opportunity to correct this negative trend," said the president of Plátano de Canarias, Domingo Martín Ortega. For Canary banana producers, "offering information on uses for the product and continuing to research its possible health benefits are priority lines of action."
In this sense, the chefs also talked about bananas as "a superfood that protects your health." In fact, a chapter of the book is devoted to this subject. In it, they explain its numerous nutritional properties.
800 million in turnover
Currently, the Canary banana is a leading player in the Spanish food industry, with more than one million kilos sold daily in the domestic market throughout the year and an annual production exceeding 400 million kilos. Canary bananas generate more than 800 million Euro in turnover.
Every day more than 7 million units of fresh Canary bananas are consumed in Spain, reaching 96.7% of Spanish households all year round.