Food - Drink
How The Brits Made Their Own 'Bananas' During WWII
During WWII, Germany targeted Britain’s food supply by infiltrating its navy, resulting in the British restricting many imported goods, including the much-beloved banana. Citizens even came up with the song “When Can I Have a Banana Again?” to mourn the fruit, and many attempted to create their own banana substitutes.
Joan Stokoe, an average civilian who was a child during the war, told the BBC that British cooks made mock mashed bananas by using parsnips, a white root vegetable that resembles a carrot. Mothers would boil the crunchy parsnip down until it was tender, then add sugar, banana essence, and sometimes food coloring to the mash.
The final product tasted like a parsnip and banana combined, and though it was quite a stretch from the real fruit, it was still edible. Curiously, across the globe in the Philippines, citizens had the opposite problem; a surplus of bananas and a lack of tomatoes resulted in the invention of banana ketchup, another curious WWII foodstuff.