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Desserts on Vacation – Going Bananas

Bananas are a great fruit; they’ve been cultivated over thousands of years to be the perfect complement to a peanut butter sandwich and hot fudge alike. If you’re on vacation, you may find yourself tempted by the multitude of desserts available at the Destin hotels or surrounding boardwalks. And you should indulge! After all, you’re on vacation, and this is a chance to see just how creatively bananas are used in American desserts.

The banana split is probably the most famous American banana-based dessert. In its classic form, it’s served in a long dish; the banana is sliced in half lengthwise (the ‘split’) and topped with a scoop each of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate ice cream. Each ice cream is then drizzled with its own topping—strawberry, pineapple, and chocolate, respectively—and garnished with whipped cream, crushed nuts, and a maraschino cherry. If all that sounds intimidating, then you’re in luck; the banana split is the perfect sundae to share with a friend or loved one! They were originally invented in a Pennsylvania pharmacy in 1904, and are a classic warm-weather treat.

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For those looking for a bit of Southern flavor in their desserts, banana pudding is a perfect choice. This dessert is made of vanilla custard, ladyfinger cookies, and sliced bananas, all carefully layered and topped with whipped cream. It’s a rich treat that has become popular all over the United States. A layered banana pudding can be made with or without baking, and some restaurants and bakers use vanilla pudding instead of custard, as it is easier to find and prepare. Nonetheless, it’s a fantastic and unique treat to share with the friends you make at the emerald grandee hotel pool!

Bananas Foster is originally from New Orleans, but is now found in restaurants all over the world. Florida’s proximity to the Southern states has led to some culinary migration, so it’s not uncommon to see some Creole-inspired foods there. Bananas Foster starts with a sauce made from butter, cinnamon, dark rum, brown sugar, and banana liqueur. They are cooked together, and then ignited to caramelize the sugar. The hot sauce is poured over sliced bananas and vanilla ice cream. If you’re lucky, the restaurant might prepare the dish table-side, serving it as a flambé.

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