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Friday, January 11, 2013

Banana Ketchup?

Yes, there is such a thing as banana ketchup,
and it is yellow.

Tight seams prompted the need to seek some viable alternatives to the ever-tempting and overly available devilishly delicious and terribly fattening French salami.  Inspired by the squeaky clean and relatively affordable Le Gourmet Marche supermarket in Dutch St. Maarten, it seemed trustworthy enough to (overcome my lurking fear of E. coli from untrustworthy hamburger sources) buy lean Angus ground sirloin to make home-made meatloaf.

Far from the fatty diner-style meatloaf, mine is uses  ground sirloin and chock full of savory stuff… green olives with pimentos, capers, sautéed onion and garlic, herbs du Provence, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan cheese, sometimes mushrooms…. It’s lean enough I have to float a little olive oil so it doesn’t dry out in the oven.  Then it takes a turkey baster after it’s cooked to remove the extra veggie liquid the seeps out.

Banana Santa street art in
Grande Case, St. Martin.  Bananas are
cheap and plentiful here in the Caribbean.
We even had home-made herb bread with kalamata (recipe from Kay Pastorius’ “Cruising Cuisine” cookbook – a gift from fellow cruiser friend Lili Pelko of Heron) and green olives (ran out of kalamata) for meatloaf sammy makings. 

What was missing from this classic all-American lunch?  Ketchup.  Garrison Keillor (click here for a Keillor ketchup NPR audio clip) would be aghast! 

In my effort to embrace local Caribbean cuisine, I did buy some… banana ketchup.  It sat, unopened for the last two months.  I was timid, Wayne was kind of grossed out at the concept.  And it’s yellow, though due far more to yellow dye #5.

So, for the sake of using what we had on board, we tried it.  It tasted a lot like… uhhh… drum roll please… ketchup.  Maybe a bit more spicy, cinnamon and / or maybe nutmeg – the ingredient list doesn’t specify what the “spices” are.

Garrison, whatdya think?  Spoofable in a future NPR episode?  It would fly even less with Prairie Home Companion Midwestern Lutherans than Palm Springs, much less the Caribbean.