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Food & Drink
Bananas with Rum
and Brown Sugar
This classic Bermudian dessert is
cooked on the stove top.
4 bananas, ripe but firm,
peeled and cut lengthwise
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dark rum, measured
In medium sauté pan over medium
heat, melt the butter and sugar and
whisk until dissolved.
Add bananas, cut side down,
for about one minute before turning
Remove pan from heat and pour in
the premeasured rum.
Return to heat and shake pan to allow rum to ignite.
Let alcohol burn off before shaking
pan to coat the bananas.
Cook another minute until glazed and
Gently place onto dessert plates
and top with a tablespoon of sour
plantation owners and tradesmen. Detailed
records of imports from Bermuda into colonial Caribbean ports include livestock and
preserved salted meats, fresh produce, honey
and beeswax, salt, fine cedar furniture and
fashionable palmetto hats.
In the 1700s, the Dutch and Danish
Caribbean free ports became a mainstay for
Bermudian traders since rum was sold at lower
prices in these ports and the merchants’ financial success increased handsomely as a result.
And because Bermudian sloops were faster
than most ships, they were much sought after
by rum producers to deliver rum and sugar to
Bermudian captains’ trading routes expanded to Charleston, South Carolina, and other
ports along the colonial North American
coast when passengers needed to travel to and
from the Caribbean islands and the mainland.
Along with their paid passages, the ships
increased trade in all areas. Rum, sugar and
other desirable commodities became the main
reason for such forays, with handsome profits
being the result.
Smuggling rum and other goods into Bermuda became a seriously lucrative business for
locals in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Apparently it proved to be impossible
to restrain or control the importers. Policing
was futile. Large kickbacks were the reward
for authorities that turned a blind eye to such
shipments. Indeed the conspiracy of silence
was the key to success. Local captains regularly
off-loaded the bulk of their cargo in the West
End before heading to the formal entry port of
Bermuda’s illicit trade was so successful—
the late 1700s being a particularly notable
period with more than twice the recorded
amount of cargo landing than was actually
declared—that captains built big houses along
the waterside with storage underneath. Many
of these homes rivaled those in bustling British colonial North American port cities.
Take a look around the island; some of
these magnificent homes are still standing. The
recipe for the success of the men who built
them and those dishes we enjoy as a result of
the arrival of rum remain.