101 ways with bananas

January 27th, 2010 in European travel by Sarah Lee 1
Feel like a banana?

Ok get your minds out of the gutter straight away – this is a travel blog!
This week the greatest number of British travel journalists ever in one place has amassed in the Canary Island of Tenerife.

This is the first time I’ve attended the annual meeting of the British Guild of Travel Writers (BGTW) and though it serves as a time to address some important business, it’s also a chance for our hosts in Tenerife to show us what the island has to offer. Given that over 100 travel journalists are here you can expect lots of blogs, pics, tweets and general online chatter about the meeting and the island in the next few days.

We started our trip with a fascinating dinner at a banana plantation. Arriving to drinks among rows of slightly dark and forboding banana trees we were treated to canapes, many of which were made from variations on bananas.

I don’t mind the odd banana but I really had no idea there were so many ways you could eat/cook them. Our menu tonight included Iberico ham and banana parcels, cheese salad with banana vinaigrette and pumpkin seeds (particularly delicious) and pork shoulder with banana and red mojo sauce.

It was a lovely meal and amazingly I didn’t once feel sick of bananas!

Dinner was accompanied by fantastic music from a string quartet, which added a certain glamour to the factory like feel of the plantation’s sorting/packaging area. This glamour was shattered, for me at least, when I had to use the toilet. Being confronted by a block of chemical loos was a sharp contrast to the waiter service and orchestral tones of the strings section – but then it was a plantation high on a hillside, what could you expect?

Unfortunately this is where a luxury travel writer comes unstuck. Unused to roughing it I struggled with the chemical cubicle, couldn’t get the lock to work, so feared the door would spring open at any moment, leaving me exposed for all the world to see. Then as I was struggling to pump the foot pedal  to get enough water through to the tap to wash my hands I found myself laughing inanely at my efforts and literally feeling like a banana!

It’s at this point that I realised the budget travellers in the BGTW really had something over me – they can deal with absolutely any travel adversity.

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