Have Your Ever Tried a Mock Banana?
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Have You Ever Tried a Mock Banana?

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Will you be recreating this recipe any time soon?
Have Your Ever Tried a Mock Banana?
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Why not whip up some mock banana sandwiches?

Who in the world would want a mock banana? It might be hard for modern readers to understand needing a substitute for something that can typically be bought for 19 cents a pound at Trader Joe’s. But during World War II in Great Britain, many goods were tightly rationed, and a huge percentage of imported products suddenly became unavailable. The banana was one much-loved fruit that few in U.K. could manage to get their hands on.

With a stiff upper lip and a desire to create something with a similar taste and texture, enterprising Brits brought the mock banana into being.

It was a simple recipe: Young, sweet parsnips were peeled, diced, and boiled before being mashed together with caster sugar and a few drops of banana essence. How de-lish! The result was a mash tasting vaguely of parsnips and bananas, an odd but not completely unpleasant paste often enjoyed in sandwiches as demonstrated in this YouTube video.

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As far as vintage recipes go, this is definitely not the worst. But while the mock banana seems like a reasonable response in light of the circumstances, there are many other retro recipes you won’t believe people actually made.