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Anyone ever add bananas to mashed potatoes?

ipsedixit Jun 1, 2008 02:37 PM

At a dinner party the other day, we were served mashed potatoes that tasted nothing like we've ever had before.

When pressed, our gracious host said that bananas had been added.

Anyone else ever try this?

  1. h
    HannahBanana Jun 1, 2008 02:42 PM

    Its quite popular in Germany. My husband has had it a few times. Bananas add a sweetness that plain potatoes sometimes lack. Havent tried it myself. Whipping in some cooked yams is great too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: HannahBanana
      t
      theike Jun 6, 2008 07:44 AM

      Um, "quite popular in Germany"? There IS a German dish called "Himmel und Erde" - "heaven and earth" - pureed APPLES & potatoes. But bananas? Maybe a weirdo regional thing :-)

      I COULD imagine mashed potatoes with ripe mashed plantains, actually...

      1. re: theike
        h
        HannahBanana Jun 7, 2008 06:01 PM

        Wish I could pinpoint the region! However he has encountered it all over Germany many times, usually at buffet meals. Together we have come across it a few times while travelling through Germany and Switzerland on numerous occasions. Personally it gives me the willies......leave the darn potato alone! haha

    2. m
      millygirl Jun 1, 2008 02:53 PM

      Nope, never even heard of it. So what did you think? You said they tasted like nothing you've ever had before. Is that a good thing, or bad? Sounds pretty whack to me. I'm curious to hear what you thought of them.

      3 Replies
      1. re: millygirl
        ipsedixit Jun 1, 2008 09:35 PM

        They were actually quite good.

        The first bite you're taken back a bit, because your taste buds are not expecting what's visually being presented on the plate.

        Definitely not the traditional mashed potatoes with gravy. It was served plain, and garnished with a bit of cinnamon.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          v
          valerie Jun 2, 2008 10:21 AM

          Was it just a side dish? What else was served? Just curious what it would be paired with.

          1. re: valerie
            ipsedixit Jun 2, 2008 10:56 AM

            It was paired with Copper River Salmon and another side dish of roasted asparagus.

      2. Cheese Boy Jun 1, 2008 09:29 PM

        Green cooking bananas maybe, but yellow bananas? I add calabaza sometimes.

        1. 4
          4Snisl Jun 2, 2008 12:11 PM

          Could you also throw in some peanut butter? You could call it "Lisa from Top Chef Cycle 4" and Elvis's love child potatoes......

          1. r
            RGC1982 Jun 2, 2008 01:11 PM

            I've done it with sweet potatoes only. I followed one of Tyler' Florences recipes, and roasted the banana in the oven first. It was great.

            1 Reply
            1. re: RGC1982
              s
              Susan627 Jun 8, 2008 09:29 AM

              Had mashed sweet potatoes with banana at a friend's. She didn't roast it, just threw one in with 3 or 4 potatoes while mashing. I have to say it was really good!

            2. danhole Jun 2, 2008 02:24 PM

              That's a new one for me! A friend and I once saw a chef on PBS make his mashed potatoes with carrots, so we tried it and they were really good. Had a sweet flavor to them, like you describe with the bananas.

              1 Reply
              1. re: danhole
                m
                millygirl Jun 2, 2008 03:44 PM

                I've tried mashed with carrots, peas, even cauliflower. Gives it a nice color and enhances the taste. My all time favorite though is wasabi. Ymmm.

              2. c
                chefdean Jun 6, 2008 05:34 AM

                My sous chef adds avocado, says they are fabulous.

                1 Reply
                1. re: chefdean
                  k
                  kkak97 Jun 6, 2008 06:55 AM

                  Initial reaction to reading bananas in mashed potatoes would be to recoil in horror, but this is an interesting post. I think the paring with the salmon sounds like it just might work, and somehow it almost sounds appetizing. I'd try it.

                  Now, the avacado with potato oddly, to me anyway, sounds really good. Probably because I love both of those items and the savory senses seem to match. That I will be definitely trying. I take it you haven't tried it chefdean?

                2. chef chicklet Jun 6, 2008 08:07 AM

                  No not on purpose, but accidentally dh was mashing for the baby a really ripe banana, and then he mashed the potatoes. I was highly upset, I didn't like the banana flavor in there at all, and it wasn't even that strong at all. I like them separately, I just don't want anything fruity in my mashed potatoes. Maybe it was just so unexpected and I had my mouth all set for mashed potaoes with their buttery goodness, a bit salty and the lovely gravy I worked on. hmmmm. Ick, I was not happy.

                  I do love a bed of perfect bed of mashed potatoes with herbs under a wonderful piece of salmon. So its's not the fish, but the sweet taste that doesn't appeal to me in the potato...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chef chicklet
                    k
                    kkak97 Jun 6, 2008 08:15 AM

                    I'm with you 100%, especially if there is delicious gravy involed. Mashed potatoes and gravy must not be bastardized. I think the shock fo the senses would be interesting to say the least, as you expect a creamy and rich buttery flavor only to be hit with the sweetness of a banana. If not expecting it I can only imagine how foul it would taste.

                    But I'm thinking of it as an expected thing. And as I said before the salmon combination really does it. Salmon can handle some unusual things, and I'm thinking with a sweet asian glaze....

                    I'm not saying it sounds delicious, but I just wouldn't rule it out in the right circumstances.

                    1. re: kkak97
                      chef chicklet Jun 8, 2008 10:41 AM

                      Perhaps, I won't rule it out, I adore sweet potatoes mashed and whatever.
                      But might just be that I'm not all that crazy for fresh bananas. I love banana bread, and ice cream.

                  2. s
                    saacnmama Jun 6, 2008 08:18 AM

                    Altogether, I've lived in various parts of German-speaking Europe for 5 years. I've never encountered this combination there.
                    I have, however, come across some very earnest efforts by Germans in East Africa in the 19th century to prepare bananas in a way that would resemble potatoes, reported not in a women's journal such as "Kolonie und Heimat in Wort und Bild" but in the very official, scientific "Kolonialblätter".

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: saacnmama
                      h
                      HannahBanana Jun 7, 2008 05:59 PM

                      It does sound odd doesn't it? We've encountered the combo while travelling throughout Germany and Switzerland many times. My husband says when growing up in Germany he encountered it at buffet meals. He isn't fond of it!!

                    2. k
                      KailuaGirl Jun 6, 2008 09:35 AM

                      Here in Hawaii there's an old local recipe for mashed sweet potatoes and mashed apple bananas in a casserole, with some butter and cinnamon added in and topped with crushed corn flakes and chopped mac nuts, all drizzled in melted butter. I make it every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

                      1. Caroline1 Jun 6, 2008 10:00 AM

                        My initial reaction is that it doesn't sound very attractive. Sort of like someone has spilled banana pudding in the mashed potatoes at a buffet. Which is part of the reason I don't like buffets, the other part being other people's kids playing in the food.

                        But anyway, when it comes to strange mashed potatoes, just out of sheer curiosity I do plan on trying a touch of peanut butter, a la Top Chef, sometime soon. Thinking ahead, if I really like those, I might try adding a touch of banana and calling them Elvis' potatoes...

                        Creative Cookery, Bizarre Edition.

                        1. k
                          kpsd Jun 9, 2008 04:14 AM

                          Chez Jay's in Santa Monica has served banana potatoes for 20+ years. They are amazing, as are the steaks and, for dessert, the cheesecake. Yummy!
                          http://www.chezjays.com/

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: kpsd
                            m
                            merna Jul 11, 2008 07:33 AM

                            Yes! I think Chez Jay been serving it for over 40 years actually. The recipe was published once by request in Gourmet.

                          2. s
                            silveropera Apr 6, 2009 03:40 AM

                            I make them on occasion, and they're delicious. I add about one medium banana per 10 potatoes. I usually boil it with the potatoes for the last three or so minutes, and then just mash it all together with some half and half and butter, a little salt and a lot of fresh cracked pepper. I first had it at San Pedro restaurant in Hudson, WI. They aren't really sweet - the banana just adds an exotic taste. Try it! It's delicious.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: silveropera
                              ipsedixit Apr 6, 2009 09:11 AM

                              I actually took this idea (bananas and potatotes) one step further.

                              I decided to take the idea and make a dessert out of it. I add bananas to mashed up sweet potatoes or yams, and then add cream cheese, roll into golf-sized balls, coat with panko and deep fry. Delicious.

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