Uses of the Banana
In the Virgin Islands and elsewhere the banana is also used to prepare a myriad of food preparations such as banana bread, banana pancakes, bananas Foster and banana daiquiris, to name just a few.
In addition to their use as a food, the banana also has several other, somewhat esoteric uses such as:
Bananas plants can be used to roll spliffs
1) The large and heavy leaves
of the banana plant will often break or become damaged by wind,
rain, or just by their sheer weight alone. When this happens,
the leaves dry up, becoming brown and paper-like.
2) Peel thin strips of the dried brown sections of the outer layer of the banana stalk, or main stem, and set aside. (The brown, paper-like leaves, along with the dry, brown layer of banana stem, are sometimes referred to as banana shak.)
3) Place the substance you wish to roll in the center of the leaf. Many people prefer what is called a blen rather than using pure herb. A blen is a mixture of herb and fanta, a tobacco-like leaf.
4) Roll up your herb or blen in the dried banana leaf.
5) Using the strips of banana stalk, tie the rolled leaf together in three or four places to prevent the spliff from unraveling.
6) Sit under
a coconut palm and enjoy your spliff.
Bananas can be used to make money
Banana can be used to make beer
Banana can be used for first aid
Banana can be used to prepare earthen ovens
The building of the imu was overseen and supervised by a native of Hawaii, Bobby Cain, who was well known on St. Thomas as a weaver of palm leaf hats, and island character.
How to make an imu:
2) Make a big fire in the hole using a slow-burning hardwood. In Hawaii they use koa wood, in the Virgin Island's you could use cassia, large wild tamarinds or other native hardwoods.
3) When the coals are hot, put rocks on top of them and heat them until they get white-hot.
4) Remove any large pieces of burning coal and arrange the rocks to fit evenly in the bottom of the hole.
5) Cover the rocks with cut-up sections of banana stalks and then cover the stalks with banana leaves
6) Place the food to be cooked on the banana leaves (In Hawaii, pig is traditionally cooked in this manner, in the Virgin Islands, pig, goat, fish, lobster, chicken and ground food (yucca, green banana, yams etc.) are generally cooked together in the imu.
7) Cover the food with banana leaves and cover the leaves with wet burlap or a wet canvas tarp.
8) Cover with sand until no more steam escapes from the earth. The ground will feel mildly warm.
9) An imu prepared in the morning will be ready to eat by the evening. Uncover carefully, making sure no sand gets in the food and serve.