|Place of origin||United States|
|Region or state||Southern United States|
|Main ingredients||Bananas, cookies (Vanilla Wafers or ladyfingers), custard, vanilla flavoring|
Banana pudding is a dessert generally consisting of layers of sweet vanilla flavored custard, cookies (usually Vanilla Wafers or ladyfingers) and sliced fresh bananas placed in a dish and served, topped with whipped cream or meringue.
It is commonly associated with Southern U.S. cuisine, however, it can be found around the country. Furthermore, it closely resembles an English Trifle in that it is assembled in layers and includes custard, fruit, sponge cake, and whipped cream.
Banana pudding can be prepared using a baked or refrigerated method, with the latter being the more popular, particularly among home cooks. Moreover, many recipes have been adapted using vanilla or banana pudding instead of a true custard. Other recipes omit the wafers. An early Banana pudding recipe was published in "The Kentucky Receipt Book," by Mary Harris Frazer, in 1903. However, even this recipe does not include wafers.
Method of preparation
A typical method for making Banana pudding is to repeatedly layer the bananas, custard, and wafers into a dish and top with whipped cream or meringue. Over time, the wafers will absorb the custard and the layers will press together causing the flavors to intermingle.
National Banana Pudding Festival
The National Banana Pudding Festival began in October 2010. It is held at the Centerville River Park and Jerry Dixon Walking Trail located a short distance north from the Centerville Public Square in Centerville, Tennessee. It is a 2-day event held on the first weekend of October.
The National Banana Pudding Festival is the brainchild of twelve local community volunteers seeking a way to earn money to cover the costs of helping victims of disasters, fires, tornadoes, and floods. In September 2009, they incorporated the National Banana Pudding Festival as a nonprofit corporation and set about bringing their dream to reality. They quickly realized they could do more than just help their cause. They could provide a way for many nonprofit organizations to "earn" much-needed funds for their causes and missions too.
The heart of the National Banana Pudding Festival is the Puddin' Path. The Puddin' Path was awarded the "2014 Best Event Within an Event" by the Southeastern Festivals & Events Association. It exemplifies the festival's purpose, which is to (1) support nonprofit organizations in the area, (2) engage people in the community, and (3) provide a unique entertainment experience for the festival's guests. Guests can take a stroll down the Puddin' Path and collect 10 samples of banana pudding made by nonprofit organizations.
In addition to the Puddin' Path, the festival allows guests to watch the finalist in the banana pudding cook-off make their creations for the judges. In 2015, the festival started a new event: the Nation's Best Banana Pudding Professional Cook-Off. Restaurant Chefs / Professionals of this competition will compete for bragging rights of making the "Nation's Best Banana Pudding." All cook-off competitions are open to anyone it the United States.
Georgia State Banana Pudding Festival
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The Georgia State Banana Pudding Festival began in May 2015. It is held on the 2.5-acre property of the Blue Goose on Main in the small town of Irwinton, Georgia. The owner of the Blue Goose approached the City of Irwinton and asked for their support of the event after a visit to the National Banana Pudding Festival in 2014. Organizers for the state festival followed the lead of the National Festival and structured the festival so that proceeds would go back into their community. The one day event is held the last Saturday of April.
Festival goers have the opportunity to walk through the Pudding Path and sample different Banana Puddings from seven local non-profits. Those who complete the Pudding Path will have consumed almost a pound of Banana Pudding.
A popular event at the festival is the Individual Pudding Contest. Contestants present their award-winning pudding to judges and to the public. The winner of the Georgia State Banana Pudding goes on to the National Banana Pudding Festival in Centerville, TN, to compete for the National title. In 2016, Kelly Crumbley from Forsyth, GA, was the Georgia winner and went on to compete and win at the National Banana Pudding Festival.
In popular culture
North Carolina rock band Southern Culture on the Skids throws banana pudding (possibly pudding mix) during live shows and have a song, "Banana Pudding", on their Plastic Seat Sweat album, dedicated to the dessert itself.
- Banana bread, the quick-bread made with bananas
- Banana custard
- Banana Foster
- Bánh chuối, Vietnamese sweet banana dishes
- List of banana dishes
- List of custard desserts
- Summer pudding, the British dish made with fruit and bread
- Tipsy cake, the English, liquor flavored cake popular in the American South
- Trifle, the English layered custard, sponge cake, and fruit dessert
- Rosengarten, David (November 2003). "Southern Banana Pudding this was first made in 1961.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRWnJW0hpsQ". The Splendid Table (American Public Media). External link in
- Richard Sax, Classic Home Desserts: A Treasury of Heirloom and Contemporary Recipes from Around the World (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 1, 2000), page 138. ISBN 0-618-00391-6
- Mary Harris Frazer, The Kentucky Receipt Book (BiblioBazaar, October 9, 2008), page 221. ISBN 0-559-33134-7
- Tomlinson, Tommy. "Food." Our State Magazine. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. <http://www.ourstate.com/banana-pudding/>.
- National Banana Pudding Festival. Web. 21 July 2015. <http://bananapuddingfest.org