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How Do You Make A Banana Split And What Toppings Do You Put On It?
Filling The Banana Boat
The dish routinely used for this cool and refreshing banana ice cream sundae treat is a deep elongated plate that is commonly called a banana boat.
Start off with ripe firm bananas. You do not want to use mushy ones, nor ones that are too hard or green.
The traditional banana split dessert is made by peeling the skin off the banana and slicing it lengthwise into two equal parts, placing three scoops of ice cream in the middle of the two banana slices, adding some chocolate syrup, a scoop of whipping cream, a spoonful of nuts, and topping this off by placing a maraschino cherry on top.
For a warmer version of this American treat, you can cook the bananas slightly on the grill leaving the peelings on them while they broil. First, slit the skins open lengthwise on one side of each banana and cut a section of the peeling away to expose one side of the banana leaving about an inch uncut on each end so you can turn the opening face down without the banana falling out of it. You will want to cook them with the open side down so that the exposed face of the banana is heated first, then after about two minutes flip them over and heat for a few more minutes before removing your bananas from the grill. It is a good idea to lightly oil the grill rack before grilling so that the bananas can be removed easily without much sticking. Afterward scoop the banana and warm sauce from inside the peelings into the serving dish, add vanilla ice cream, and whatever toppings you choose. This warmer variation is a good base for some of the more unusual ingredients recommended below, such as cinnamon, brown sugar, honey, baked apples, etc.
The original banana split consisted of three different flavors of Neapolitan style ice cream, which included chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. A simple, vanilla only, version of this delicious treat is very popular now days. Some other kinds of ice cream, I think would be interesting to try but normally aren't served in a banana split, are Coffee Mocha, Cherry Vanilla, Peanut Butter Fudge Swirl, or Cookies and Crème. If you have tried other flavors and they were yummy (or if the results were the opposite and they were terrible) please share the details with us in the comments area below.
No Banana Split is complete without your favorite toppings. Here are several suggestions for what you can put over the top of the bananas and ice cream.
Syrup of your choice: chocolate, strawberry, caramel, butterscotch, or hot fudge
Nuts: crushed pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews or macadamias
Candy: chocolate chips (dark or regular milk chocolate), sprinkles, Reese’s Pieces, M&Ms, Andes mints, Butterfingers, Heath Bars, Nestles Crunch (break the bars into bits and pieces)
Fruit: maraschino cherries, pineapple bits, sweetened baked apples, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or strawberries, kiwi, raisons or dates, coconut (raw or toasted)
Other possibilities: ground cinnamon, honey, brown sugar, whipped cream, dream whip, cool whip or frozen whipped topping (thawed), marshmallow crème, vanilla wafers, sugar cones, or graham crackers (broken into pieces or crushed), bits of peanut butter bars, fudge brownies, cookies or banana bread, rum or brandy, yogurt, pie filling, pudding (vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch, tapioca, caramel, or pistachio)
History of the Banana Split
While searching for some important facts about banana splits that I could include in this hub, I discovered there was a bit of a discrepancy regarding the original creator of this scrumptious dessert.
Wilmington, Ohio residents claim that the title should go to restaurant owner Ernest Hazard who they say created the banana split in 1907, but the National Ice Cream Retailer’s Association credited this accomplishment in 2004 to David Evans Strickler during the city of Latrobe’s celebration of its 100th anniversary.
Dr. Strickler was an apprentice drug store pharmacist working for Tassel pharmacy in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1904 when he created and served his first banana split type sundae. Later on he purchased the pharmacy and changed its name to Strickler’s Pharmacy.
Recordings in 1905-1907 indicate the dessert was sold in soda shops of that time for only ten cents a serving. (I wonder what they would think about how much we pay today to enjoy this delicious treat a century later!)