The New Banana, 1931

This great vintage ad stopped me in my tracks when I came across it in the October 1931 issue of the Ladies’ Home Journal. It’s all about bananas!

Vintage banana recipes from 1931

As you’ll notice, this ad from the “Fruit Dispatch Company” says “Bananas take the spotlight in four new roles.” I see five highlighted areas on the ad, though, myself:

1) Doctors now order bananas for babies.

“…recent scientific experiments have proved that ripe bananas are good for the child. And now The American Medical Association gives bananas its seal of approval!”

2) “In less time than it takes to powder her nose…”

you can mmake a company dessert! Here the advertiser provides a recipe for “Banana Charlotte”, basically bananas and whipped cream in a glass.

3) Husband turns cook to prove his point.

“Mr. John Williams Brown, helpful husband, chooses Sunday night to prove that he knows a good dish.” Ok, this dish actually sounds like it could be quite delicious (or it could be completely inedible; it could go either way). It’s for “Baked Bananas with Bacon”, and here it is:

Fry bacon – while bananas are baking in their skins just as you’d bake potatoes. Bake ten to fifteen minutes, in moderate oven (375F). Serve with one-third of skin removed and garnished with bacon, as shown above, at right.

vintage recipe for Baked Bananas with Bacon

Here is a visual for the Baked Bananas with Bacon recipe

4) New Party Dish Starts Conversation

For Banana Bar-le-Duc, a banana is spread with cream cheese and dappled with bar-le-duc or other jelly. (I admit to not knowing what “bar-de-luc” jelly was, so I looked it up and apparently it is jelly made from red or white currants.)

5) More Food for your Money

“As well as building energy, the 100 calories in a banana go hand in hand with three vitamins (A, B, and C) and a generous supply of those precious minerals. Bananas have never been expensive, but today they cost less than ever!”

At the end of this ad, there is an offer to send for a free copy of the booklet “The New Banana.” Believe it or not, this vintage book has not been forgotten! Here is a fun article by Daniel Neman in the Toledo Blade, in which he talks about his own copy of this booklet and even goes into more detail about the recipes found within. (And yes, he even comments on the baked bananas and bacon recipe.) But even more surprisingly, you can still order your own copy of the booklet! You can buy a used copy of it from Amazon, right at this link.

And finally, I came across an online version of the Washington Banana Museum. Be sure to click over to see a surprisingly big assortment of all kinds of vintage banana memorabilia.

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment