Have you heard of banana ketchup? Here's all about it
Bananas are enjoyed as fruit or widely used in cakes, milkshakes, and muffins all over the world. But have you heard of it being used as a condiment? Well yes, banana ketchup is a popular fruity condiment in the Philippines and is drizzled over burgers, hot dogs, or french fries just like tomato ketchup. It is usually made with bananas, vinegar, sugar, and spices.
Food scientist and technologist Maria Y. Orosa invented banana ketchup. Orosa noticed that the Philippines was reliant on the import of tomatoes which was suffering complications due to World War II. To create a self-sufficient and sustaining Philippines, Orosa created banana sauce by blending saba bananas, sugar, vinegar, and spices. She added red food dye to it to make it look like tomato ketchup.
Orosa was killed in 1945 in the Battle of Manila. She left behind a book titled Maria Orosa: Her Life and Work which contains more than 700 recipes written by her. Later, Magdalo V. Francisco Sr. created a commercial version of the ketchup and first mass-produced it commercially in 1942. He created the brand name Mafran, the first-ever banana ketchup brand in the Philippines.
The classic banana sauce is brownish-yellow in color and is given a rosy hue after adding food coloring to it in order to make it look more appetizing like tomato ketchup. It has no banana-like flavor and tastes a lot sweeter than tomato ketchup with a slightly tangy taste. The Caribbean-style banana ketchup has more ingredients like curry powder, coconut oil, rum, etc.
Saute onions, minced garlic, jalapeno pepper, grated ginger, ground allspice, and ground turmeric. Add mashed bananas, honey, rum, tomato paste, white vinegar, soy sauce, and salt, and let it simmer. Cook for 15 minutes and let it cool for 10 minutes. Blend the mix well until smooth and forms a ketchup-like consistency. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to two weeks.