In honor of our Healthy Plants, Healthy Planet campaign, we are sharing a few simple banana recipes you can make and share this holiday season. These dishes were adapted from Hawaiian Cookbook by Roana and Gene Schindler. Buy ingredients from your local farms and farmer’s markets when possible to make these dishes even better!
Share your completed dishes with us on social media! Be sure to tag @ntbg on Instagram and use the hashtag #ntbgrecipechallenge for a chance to be featured.
Share your completed dishes with us on social media! Be sure to tag @ntbg on Instagram and use the hashtag #ntbgrecipechallenge for a chance to win a prize.
Banana or maiʻa in Hawaiian are canoe plants introduced and planted in some of the most idyllic and enchanting places throughout the islands. One ancient story described a banana patch so large you could get lost trying to find your way around it growing deep in Maui’s Waihoi Valley. The story caught the attention of naturalist Dr. Angela Kay Kepler in 2004, and a botanical adventure ensued. Determined to find the legendary banana field, Dr. Kepler hired a helicopter to survey the valley. Sure enough, growing along the Waiohonu River banks, was the largest wild-growing traditional Hawaiian Banana Patch.
After making this discovery, Dr. Kepler phoned Kamaui Aiona, former director of NTBG’s Kahanu Garden and Preserve, managing a small collection of banana varieties. The two returned to the wild patch, collected a pair of young specimens, and returned them to the garden collection where they are still growing. Today, Kahanu’s maia collection exceeds 30 varieties and is one of the most diverse in the State of Hawaii. This collection is essential to the safeguarding the world’s most popular tropical fruit.