If you are not from the south, the thought of eating a banana smothered in mayo, between two pieces of bread might not sound appealing, or even sane . But the banana-mayo sandwich is apparently a common delicacy down there.
I first heard of this sandwich while watching the show My Big Fat Fabulous Life. Whitney (the star of the show) makes herself a banana mayo sandwich and her father does not let her eat it. There was also some major controversy a few years back when Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted that he too enjoys this concoction.
My theory with food is: if other people are eating it, then it must be edible. I went and bought myself the whitest, chewiest bread I could get my hands on, a bottle of Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, and a couple of ripe bananas.
My urge was to buy whole wheat artisanal bread and designer mayo. I fought that urge along with the urge to toast the bread, caramelize the bananas and substitute mayo for maple (that’s the Canadian in me). I made the sandwich as per the internet’s instructions: bread, mayo, banana slices, and bread.
The ingredients amalgamate to form a sandwich that is greater than the sum of its parts. It is hard to know where the bread starts and the banana ends. These are three ingredients that shouldn’t work together, but they do, they really do. I have to admit, this was not the miserable experience I read about. I can truly say I enjoyed this little culinary adventure.
My parents grew up in Lebanon eating banana’s smushed into pita bread, sprinkled with sugar and they thought that was completely normal. It is clear that our expectations affect the way we taste food (the book Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink does a great job at explain that). If you are going to try this experiment at home, you need to go into it with an open mind.
The trick is to remove all preconceived notions of a banana being a sweet fruit and mayo being a condiment used only on savory food. You see, this sandwich is neither sweet nor savory, and it’s neither a main nor a dessert. The trick to enjoying this sandwich is to not attempt to categorize it.
If your brain is trying to make a decision on whether to focus on its sweet aspects or its salty ones, you will suffer. To truly enjoy this frankenfood you must let go of classifications and simply enjoy the creamy textures, pleasing flavors, and naughty feeling creeping up inside.
Check out other disgustingly delicious foods HERE!