17 July 2007

Filipino Banana Split with Banana Fritters

What is a Banana Split in Filipino? Biniyak na Saging na may Sorbetes? After Pierre Hermé and Dorie Greenspan gave a French character to the banana split, I thought, why not do the same for my own nationality? Now, without seriously racking my brain, bananas served as dessert in the Philippines come in four ways: minatamis na saging or sweetened bananas, which are starchy bananas cooked in brown sugar and water till it's thick and the bananas melt in your mouth; fried bananas, which are self-explanatory but kind of a no-brainer; Turon, which are spring roll wrappers filled with bananas, fried, and glazed with caramel; and Maruya, which are banana fritters. I decided to go with the fourth option because even though caramelized bananas are definitely the way to go, it's much too similar to my previous banana split endeavor. (Details follow)
Filipino Banana Split
The fritters are simple enough to make-- one egg with a few tablespoons of flour, a tablespoon of milk, and a pinch of baking soda, then deep-fried till golden, then dusted with powdered sugar. My main problem with this concoction is the banana itself. Following tradition, I used saba bananas, which are a little like plantains in that they are very starchy. Frying them didn't give me enough sweetness, and I was disappointed; I should have gone my own way and used a respectable regular banana. On top is mango ice cream (our national fruit!), chocolate sauce (hey, we were colonized by Spaniards, it counts), and just to humor myself, whipped cream and a cherry. I would have topped it with crushed pineapple instead of chocolate but I didn't have any available; in retrospect I would have appreciated the analogous tropical fruity flavors more.

Other Filipino topping considerations:
1. Pinipig - roasted immature rice, similar to Rice Krispies
2. Macapuno - coconut sport
3. Kaong (sugar palm)
4. Sweet kidney beans
5. Ube (purple yam)
6. Langka (jackfruit)
7. Leche Flan (crème caramel)
8. Garbanzos (chickpeas)
Really, I'm just naming the contents of Halo-halo.

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