The yard next to ours has two banana trees.
Before coming here, I’d never seen one. I’d heard about how large the banana leaves were, and I knew that you could cut the leaves into squares and use them to pack food for cooking or for transporting elsewhere.
But seeing a banana tree is a little bit different.
Take a look at it. The stem the bananas grow on has a purple flower at the end of it – sort of upside down tear drop shaped. It’s called a banana flower, and it can be chopped up and curried. We haven’t done that, but that’s what Fahim tells me. I have seen it in the grocery stores, by the way. Not every time I go shopping, but most of the time. Then again, nothing is always available at the grocery store, it would seem.
Back to the leaves. You can see how some of the leaves are split. That’s due to wind. Otherwise, the leaves wouldn’t be split at all – it doesn’t grow that way.
Next, we have lime trees. Bushes? I’m not sure. But those are limes clearly growing on it. Limes are used a lot here, and, in fact, lemons are hard to come by, but limes are available everywhere. They’re used for drinks – lime juice, the lime equivalent of lemonade . They’re also used in curries – for a hot and sour fish curry, for example. Sambols. Soups. Whatever.
It’s true, the limes in the stores are not in great shape. The skin’s a little leathery and thin, and less perfect looking than you’d ever get in Canada. But that’s beside the point. They’re fresh and they’re great. I also use them as a hot drink when I or Fahim has a sore throat or a cold. In Canada, I’d use lemons, but, well, there’s that whole lack of lemons thing.
And yes, I’m well aware that ginger’s good for that, too, but ginger gets boring when it’s pot after pot after pot – lime gives a bit of variety. So there. 😀