The KKNY Retro Recipe Project: 1942 Banana Meat Loaf

When I mentioned the prospect of making banana meatloaf for the Retro Recipe Project, the response was generally "eeeeeew" or "huh?" But apparently the folks at the Home Economics Department of the Fruit Dispatch Company (Distributors of United Fruit Company Bananas) thought it was a great idea back in 1942. As I flipped through the savory ideas in Bananas...how to serve them looking for something to make, this actually seemed like the best idea. Compared to Tomatoes Tropical (bananas, tomatoes, grated cheese, and paprika) and Ham Banana Rolls, this seemed reasonable, and when I thought about all of the savory Latin American dishes with sweet plantains, I decided this was the one to try.

In Beacon for the weekend, I sold Nancy on the idea with the plantain argument (Jess didn't have a choice), and I dove into the super simple recipe. I cheated a little, substituting wet for dry mustard, and only adding two generous pinches of Maldon salt rather than the seemingly insane 1 tablespoon of regular (yikes!). We were without a loaf pan, so I made a sort of meat log and threw it in the oven for an hour.

Out of the oven, the poor thing completely fell apart when we cut into it (the cold leftovers sliced pretty well, though). I tasted with trepidation, and it wasn't bad! And with the addition of some hot sauce on the side, it was actually pretty good...and even better the next day. As we ate and pondered, we decided this recipe could be the base for some serious playing. With more onions, hot peppers, olives, and the like, this could turn into a really interesting dish. Who knew?

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