Bananas Foster [buh-nan-uh faw-ster, fos-ter] noun
Bananas sautéed in butter, brown sugar, banana liqueur and rum, set aflame and served over vanilla ice cream.
The origin of many recipes is disputed, but Bananas Foster isn’t one of them. The New Orleans restaurant Brennan’s has been serving this dessert since 1951 and lays unquestionable claim to its invention. According to Brennan’s history, owner Owen Edward Brennan asked his chef, Paul Blangé, to develop a banana dessert. The dessert was fairly simple, combining sautéed bananas in butter, brown sugar, banana liqueur and rum, but the addition of the very theatrical flambéing of the dish made for great tableside excitement. Served over vanilla ice cream, the dish was an immediate hit. It was named in honor of Richard Foster, who served with Owen on the New Orleans Crime Commission – a group whose focus was to clean up the French Quarter. Foster was a close friend of Owens’ and a frequent customer. Brennan’s claims that their Bananas Foster is the most popular item on the menu and that they go through 35,000 pounds of bananas each year. It is very easy to make at home; just take care with the flambéing.