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MelissaH

Cayman Islands cuisine

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I'm going to be traveling to the Cayman Islands next week, where I will be fed by other people. (The institute where I'm staying employs a cook.) I'm looking forward to the adventure, but I have one concern. I cannot eat (or even be near others eating) bananas. The smell alone is enough to start me gagging. Am I likely to have a problem with bananas everywhere, or hidden in innocuous dishes? Will I have to specifically ask about whether every dish contains bananas?

Plantains, amazingly enough, are fine, either ripe or unripe. And other tropical fruits are delicious. It's just bananas that drive me bananas. I'm hoping I won't be asked to eat turtle, but my problems with that are all in my head, I think.

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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I can't answer specifically, but since that is certainly a possibility, I would call ahead and make your dietary needs known. If this is more than just a preference, and it seems that it is, I'm sure they will do their best to accommodate you.

Hopefully someone else can add a little more detail about how common is it to see banana in their cuisine.

Just out of curiosity, how did you develop this aversion to bananas? I know people who don't prefer them (though more commonly artificial banana flavor), but never someone who becomes ill.

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I'd also check the type of bananas. Many people who have averse reactions to Gran Nain and Cavendish bananas will be just fine with Nino, Orito, Saba, Orinoco, and in fact almost any non-commercial type - they have very different flavour components.

If I recall anything of Island cuisine, it's that it's heavier on the plantain than it is on the banana, and since you say you've got no issue with plantain, I doubt you'll have any problems at all. Bananas when they appear tend to be fairly in your face about it (fried banana on a stick, anyone?)


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Just out of curiosity, how did you develop this aversion to bananas? I know people who don't prefer them (though more commonly artificial banana flavor), but never someone who becomes ill.

I don't know how or why I don't like bananas. My parents claim I ate them when I was very young. I don't remember eating any, though. I don't like the texture. I can't stand the smell. And I can't get close enough to even think of tasting. This holds true for any variety of banana that's called a banana, even the little red bananas or the finger bananas that sometimes show up at Wegmans.

When I was teaching organic chemistry labs, I had to get someone to cover the day we did the ester synthesis, as isoamyl acetate (banana oil) is a favorite of lab coordinators everywhere. I still can't walk inside the chemistry building on campus on the days students do this lab, and my husband always warns me if I'm going to be in the neighborhood.

Bananas when they appear tend to be fairly in your face about it (fried banana on a stick, anyone?)

Elizabeth, I think you might have just given me a subject for tonight's nightmare! :blink:

MelissaH


Edited by MelissaH (log)

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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MelissaH - I don't think you need to be concerned. I've been to the Caymans a number of times (all 3 islands), and don't recall a predominance of bananas, if any at all. If anything, as Panaderia Canadiense said, you may encounter plantains.

If you're dining buffet style, they may be offered at breakfast as a courtesy to guests from North America.

What you will find in abundance are avocados (called pears), mango, papaya, citrus fruits, and ackee.

Don't worry, and enjoy your trip.

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MelissaH - I don't think you need to be concerned. I've been to the Caymans a number of times (all 3 islands), and don't recall a predominance of bananas, if any at all. If anything, as Panaderia Canadiense said, you may encounter plantains.

If you're dining buffet style, they may be offered at breakfast as a courtesy to guests from North America.

What you will find in abundance are avocados (called pears), mango, papaya, citrus fruits, and ackee.

Don't worry, and enjoy your trip.

Whew! I'm safe, because I love all of the above, except ackee. I can't say anything about ackee because I've never had an opportunity to try any before. Next week, I may be able to modify that statement. Thanks, all!

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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I'm back, and did not encounter any bananas whatsoever. I saw unripe papayas hanging on trees, and an ackee tree also. No mangos or avocados where I was. I did have my first two encounters with breadfruit, and if nobody had said anything, I would have sworn I was eating potato both times.

The trip managed to do something unexpected: de-Coke me. What I drank on the airplane home tasted way too sweet, for some reason!

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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I'm back, and did not encounter any bananas whatsoever. I saw unripe papayas hanging on trees, and an ackee tree also. No mangos or avocados where I was. I did have my first two encounters with breadfruit, and if nobody had said anything, I would have sworn I was eating potato both times.

The trip managed to do something unexpected: de-Coke me. What I drank on the airplane home tasted way too sweet, for some reason!

MelissaH

What was the best or most interesting thing you ate? Most typical? Never been to the Caymans and right now a tropical island sounds delish.

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Most interesting was probably the "potato" salad that turned out to be a breadfruit salad. Best was probably the vegetable soup that was concocted out of leftovers on what passed for a chilly day there. Little Cayman is a very small island, and when I was there, the weather had been such that the supply barges hadn't been able to get through for a couple of weeks. Thus, much of what we ate came from either the pantry, the freezer, or (like the breadfruit) was grown on the island.

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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