The National Library of Australia has this publication [Be Bold with Bananas] dated at 1972, although other sources are less certain of the date. This book, distributed in Australia by the Banana Growers Association, is a collector’s item. It’s best known for the infamous Banana Candle recipe – essentially a banana inserted vertically in a pineapple ring, drizzled with mayonnaise and topped with a slice of cherry.
Apparently the Banana Candle has a bit of a cult following. YouTube offers modern-day attempts to create and sample it.
Adelaide the Hen (aka Adelaide Benteggs) lived on the farm of Wilfred Waterman in Poole, England. She first came to the attention of the press in 1957, when she began laying banana-shaped eggs. Farmer Waterman put her in solitary confinement, worried that whatever was causing her to lay such eggs "might be catching."
Experts from the British Ministry of Agriculture subsequently x-rayed and otherwise examined Adelaide, but couldn't find anything obviously wrong with her that was causing her to lay the banana-shaped eggs.
Adelaide, however, kept laying the odd eggs — hundreds of them — and as a result became a celebrity hen. She appeared on TV and helped raise over £1000 for charity.
When she died, on August 11, 1961, it made international news. It was reported that she died quietly, sitting on her nest, after laying another curved egg. Officials from the British Museum expressed an interest in performing an autopsy on her, but before they could do so Farmer Waterman had her cremated. He kept the ashes in an urn on his sideboard.
Despite her fame, I've been unable to find a single picture anywhere of either Adelaide or one of her curved eggs, which I find puzzling. I would have thought that press photographers would have loved to document such an oddity.
The Brazilian Olympics are in big trouble, as recent news articles tell us. Surely they could use a boost from an athletic banana, like the ad campaign from Chiquita that the 1980 Winter Olympics got. And a tropical fruit is even more synonymous with Brazil than it was with Lake Placid.
I came across a 1927 case of a cliche come to life — a thief fleeing on foot who was caught because he accidentally slipped on a banana peel, which sent him sprawling.
New Cambria Leader - Nov 11, 1927
I figured that Chuck must have documented cases of people who have slipped on banana peels, and sure enough he has.
• 2011 — Ida Valentine, who filed a lawsuit against a California 99 Cents Only store after slipping on a banana peel and suffering a herniated disk. (posted here on WU)
• 2007 — Joyce Walker, awarded $4,110 for injuring her knee in a hospital restroom after slipping on a banana peel. (newsoftheweird.com)
• 2001 — Dorothy M. Ellis Williams, who sued a Quiktrip gas station after she slipped on a banana peel on the pavement outside their store and injured her back and knee. (google groups)
MythBusters has investigated whether you can really slip on a banana peel, and they concluded that although it's not as easy to do as the cliche might suggest, it's definitely possible. Older skins are more slippery. They also note that the cliche originated in the early 20th century after bananas first became a popular fruit, which led to numerous old skins littering sidewalks, and therefore numerous accidents.
Also, back in March 2016 it briefly became a fad among teenagers to take videos of themselves slipping on banana peels and then post the videos online. It was called the "banana peel challenge" #bananapeelchallenge. (Daily Mail)
I recently learned that banana and mayonnaise sandwiches are considered a southern delicacy. A variant is the peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich. Or combining all three: the peanut butter, banana, and mayonnaise sandwich.
The Garden & Gun blog traces the popularity of peanut butter and mayo sandwiches (and presumably also of banana and mayo) back to the Great Depression:
Through the hardships of the Great Depression and the lean years that followed, peanut butter and mayonnaise kept many struggling households afloat. They were also the ingredients in a sandwich that was once as popular as peanut butter and jelly in parts of the South...
Newspaper clippings from the national heyday of the peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich, a period that seems to have begun in the 1930s and continued through the 1960s, provide evidence that the practice of adding mayonnaise to peanut butter could have originated as a way of transforming rough-hewn nut butters into spreadable pastes.
The gadget comprises wired electrical parts stuck to the inside of a banana skin, which is then sewn back together around the fruit and strapped to a runner's wrist — thereafter it shows their race time, heart rate and tweets from supporters, as well as when to eat the next banana.
People have noticed the similarity (at least in name) between the 'wearable banana' and the 'wearable tomato project' (which I posted about last week). Is the one a rip-off of the other? Or is the similarity just an example of a simultaneous discovery of the concept of wearable fruit?
On January 23, 1941, in Beaumont, Texas, the Cape Lookout cargo ship was launched using three-and-a-half tons of "well-ripened bananas" in order to lubricate its slide into the water. It wasn't the first time a ship had ever been launched using bananas, but at the time it was definitely the largest ship ever launched by this method. Does it still hold this record? I have no idea. The reason bananas were used was because, at the time, they were cheaper than grease.
Corsicana Semi-Weekly Light (Corsicana, Texas) - Jan 28, 1941
The Retro Recipe Attempts blog decided to make the thing, and their verdict was that "it actually wasn’t as bad as you’d expect from ham stuffed with a mustardy banana. If you got a bite with a good distribution of banana, ham, mustard, and cheese, the flavors almost worked. ALMOST. (If you got a bite with just banana and American cheese, well, barf.)"
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.