Is that a banana in your pocket or a souvenir replica of the Vince Lombardi Trophy? Sorry.....I couldn't resist!
I added this old postcard to my collection a few months ago and now seems a perfect week for it. New Orleans is in the midst of one of its biggest parties ever so it won't be bothered by the fact that the description given it on the back of this postcard, that it was "the world's greatest banana port," is no longer true. Not that the word "greatest" helps us much in understanding if it was the world's largest banana port at that time. They used to use greatest as a descriptor a lot in this country, as if it said it all and no further clarification or qualification was necessary.......
In any event, the World Port Source indicates that (highlighting is mine and I even looked up what in the heck a "TEU" is -- see the asterisk):
In the 2007-2008 shipping season, 388 vessels called at the Port of Wilmington (Delaware) carrying almost four million tons of cargo, including 1.7 million tons of containerized cargo (in 190.6 thousand TEUs*) and 130.8 thousand automobiles and roll-on/roll-off units...
The major cargoes were bananas and tropical fruit (1.4 million tons), petroleum (942 thousand tons), dry bulk (637 thousand tons), autos and roll-on/roll-off cargoes (275 thousand tons), other general cargoes (211 thousand tons), other fruits (199 thousand tons), and forest products (134 thousand tons)...
The Port of Wilmington is the United States' leading port for imports of fresh fruit, produce, and juice concentrate, and it is the world's largest port handling bananas. The Port of Wilmington handles over 200 thousand TEUs carrying fresh fruits and concentrates each year, and it offers a 74.3 thousand square meter cold-storage complex for these cargoes. During the winter, the Port of Wilmington receives table grapes, peaches, plums, applies, nectarines, pears, and other fruits from Chile. In the spring, fresh apples, pears, and kiwifruit arrive from New Zealand and Chile. In the fall, Moroccan clementines arrive.
*twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU): Standard unit for describing a ship's cargo carrying capacity, or a shipping terminal's cargo handling capacity. A standard forty-foot (40x8x8 feet) container equals two TEUs (each 20x8x8 feet). (source: BusinessDictionary.com)
However, according to encyclopedia.com.......
CHINA'S QINHUANGDAO PORT BECOMES LARGEST BANANA IMPORT CENTRE.
QINHUANGDAO, Feb 12, 2001 Asia Pulse - Qinhuangdao Port in North China's Hebei Province has become the largest collection and distribution center for imported bananas.The remainder of the article is unavailable without signing up for a trial of something. Additional research uncovered these facts:
It handled 372,000 tons of imported bananas in 2000, an increase 53.3 per cent over the previous year. At present, the amount of bananas imported via the port accounted for more than 60 per cent of the total import of…
The five largest ports in the world (source WikiAnswers.com):
- Shanghai, China
- Singapore, Singapore
- Rotterdam, Netherlands
- Ningbo, China
- Guangzhou, China
- Singapore, Singapore
- Hong Kong, China
- Shanghai, China
- Shenzhen, China
- Busan, South Korea
At Banana.com and it's cousin blog I couldn't find information about the ports that import, export, collect, and distribute the fruit. I did learn that the banana plant is not a tree. It is the world's largest herb! How about that?!My search for information brought me right back to the Port of Wilmington, but to a different page, that again boasts:
Our status as the world's largest banana port, and the nation's leading gateway for imports of fresh fruit and produce shows our capability for quality handling of perishable cargo. . .I'm willing to accept the Port of Wilmington's claim until someone can distinguish for me how the "collection and distribution center" in China bumps Wilmington's largest banana port distinction.........
All this discussion about port-this and port-that reminded me of how much I disliked port wine back in the years when I was a drinker. Which led me to wondering if there could be such a thing as banana wine. YUP! There is!
Banana wine can be made dry or sweet depending upon the recipe and can be blended with other wines to add body and flavor. Patience is required when making this wine because it takes a long time to become clear. The following recipe will show you how to make your own banana wine. LINK TO RECIPE AT ehow.com
Now let's bring New Orleans back into focus in this post with a
Banana Pudding recipe from Real Cajun Recipes:
Banana Pudding I
submitted by Deborah Bergeron
"Old Fashion like Maw-Maw used to cook for hours and hours. With the vanilla wafers! EVERYONE WANTED IT DAILY BUT IT WAS TOO MUCH TROUBLE!! Here it is and takes no time to make."
Makes: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: not available
Ready In: 15 minutes
2 boxes instant banana pudding
1 box vanilla wafers
1 can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
3 - 4 fresh ripe bananas
1/2 tub of Cool Whip
Mix instant pudding as directed on box. Add in the 1/2 tub Cool Whip and the can of condensed milk. Mix well.
Using a 2qt. - 2 1/2 qt. casserole dish, line bottom and sides of dish with vanilla wafers. Slice bananas to cover wafers. Pour 1/2 of the pudding over bananas. Repeat the vanilla wafers and bananas and top with the remaining pudding and then top with more bananas. Crumble a few more wafers on top. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and then enjoy. Try adding chopped fresh strawberries; great tasting and pretty!
If you would like to try making a banana pudding that your health insurance plan would undoubtedly endorse over the recipe above, try the recipe for Light Southern Banana Pudding instead.
Finally, I want to add my own congratulations to the Super Bowl Champion Saints and to the City of New Orleans. You SO deserve to celebrate.