Food can transport you to other places. Every time I think of Bananas Foster I’m brought back to our ramshackle little house in the middle of the rainforest in Belize. The jungle sounds are loud, but the rain is louder.

As a group of archaeologists surveying the area for new sites, we had big appetites and not a lot of luxuries. By some stroke of genius inspired by the browning bananas and the always–full supply of rum, I whipped this together for the five of us. It quickly became a staple for our little group, and, even now, no version tastes as good as our Bananas Foster à la Rainforest because every ingredient was locally sourced — literally, growing right there in front of us.


Bananas Foster à la Rainforest

The Ingredients
  • Brown over-ripe bananas
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Dark rum, preferably One Barrel (Belize’s own gloriously good spiced rum)
  • Fire
The Instructions

1. Find a pan covered in the least amount of ants. Rinse the rest of your ants off.

2. Put a few tablespoons of butter into the pan to melt. (Do you really think we measured things in this kitchen? I have, after the fact, approximated quantities for the recipe but your best bet is to wing it. That’s when the magic really happens.) So, let’s say 2 tablespoons of butter goes in the pan.

3. Chop three bananas into ½ inch slices and put into buttered pan to brown. Dust bananas with sugar and cinnamon.

4. When banana mixture has softened and caramelized (3-4 minutes over your rinky-dink camp stove) pour in approximately ¼ cup of One Barrel.

5. Flambé the bananas, to the awed “ooh’s and ahhh’s” of your fellow diners, until the alcohol has more or less burned off. Serve immediately.

I suppose you could add ice cream to this to make it even more decadent. But naturally, we did not have any ice cream where we were and frankly, it doesn’t need it.