An easy bananas foster recipe with a twist. Add two of Australia’s favorite ingredients, macadamia nuts and Bundaberg Rum for a tropical taste from Down Under.
Our easy bananas foster recipe is inspired by our recent visit to town of Bundaberg in Queensland. Bundaberg and its surrounds, with its idyllic river and beaches is famous for the growing of bananas, macadamia nuts and the home of Bundaberg Rum -affectionately known as Bundy! (Yes, we shorten everything in Australia.)
The famous, Bundaberg distillery still occupies its original site on the Burnett River on the edge of the Bundaberg township. With all of the sugar cane surrounding the region, is it any wonder some far-sighted individuals saw this as the perfect location for a distillery in 1888?
Read on to discover why a visit to the Bundaberg distillery tour is a step back in time and a pointer to Australia’s cultural history. Learn also about Australia’s favorite, endemic nut, the macadamia.
Yes macadamias are as Australian as Bundy. They go perfectly with bananas for an easy bananas foster recipe, with a bit of Australian attitude.
Bundaberg Distillery in the Heart of Sugar Cane Territory
Bundaberg is a very comfortable 4-hour drive north of Brisbane, Queensland. A river town, not far from the mouth of the Burnett River, the nearby coast contains many of those idyllic, soft-sand, Australian beaches many people just dream about. Located in the southern region of the Great Barrier Reef, an area famous for its large sea turtles. But, the Bundaberg region is also famous for its bananas, macadamia nuts and of course Bundaberg Rum.
The Bundaberg distillery is very old by Australian standards, hailing from 1888, that’s 13 years before Australia officially became a country! Bundaberg Rum, or “Bundy” as most Australians call it, is the iconic spirit drink of Australia. A Bundy and coke is as Australian as Waltzing Matilda and every tourist of drinking age should try it!
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Bundy is unique- it has a strong taste and there is definitely nothing subtle about it. But isn’t that what you would expect from an Australian rum?
Visiting the Bundaberg distillery is one of the best things you can do when visiting the region. Bundaberg Rum distillery tours are popular all year round. The link gives you all of the details and you can book a tour online. The Bundaberg Distillery is a working distillery, so you will need covered shoes! You will learn about the fascinating relationship between the Bundaberg distillery and the town of the same name. You can also discover how to make your own master blend and take home your own personalized bottle of Bundaberg Rum.
We can’t show you pictures, as none are allowed on the tour. The molasses pit, which is filled staright from the neighboring sugar cane factory via an underground pipe is a highlight! Think tar pit, but it pure molasses!
Bundaberg Rum isn’t the only industry in Bundaberg. It is also a large center for bananas and macadamia nuts.
Queensland Success Stories
Driving around Bundaberg you can’t fail to notice the large plantations of sugar cane, macadamia trees and bananas, in this sub-tropical region. It shocks most people to learn that the macadamia nut is Australian. Indeed, it is, although Hawaii contains the largest, commercial plantations in the world. Commercial production of macadamia nuts in Australia began around the same time the Bundaberg Rum distillery opened!
The above link contains some great information on the history of the macadamia nut as well as the health benefits including those for your heart, your shape and your mind. The link also contains a story from the Dreamtime. Learn about the legend explaining the origins of the macadamia from Australia’s Aboriginal people. It’s a cool story! Nuts of all types are an essential part of a healthy diet and macadamia nuts have heart health benefits.
Macadamia nuts have a naturally long shelf life and are just perfect in salads, as well as desserts, like our easy bananas foster recipe.
Speaking of bananas, you will see them in many places along the Queensland coast. Did you know bananas are the world’s oldest known fruit? Although it is not absolutely certain, the banana is thought to have originated in Papua New Guinea, to the north of Queensland, on Australia’s northern tip. The closest country to Australia, and separated by the Torres Strait, it was once connected to Australia. So, it is no surprise bananas do very well growing in Queensland.
In Australia, the Cavendish and Lady’s Fingers are the 2 most common banana varieties. High in natural magnesium and potassium, they are the perfect food if you suffer from muscle cramps. And, its why you see so many sports people eating bananas during and after competition. There are also great health benefits for mothers to be, children and the elderly.
Easy Bananas Foster – Australian Style
You find bananas foster everywhere in the US. It has its origins in New Orleans. And the name Foster?
Richard Foster was the name of the chairman of the New Orleans Crime Commission. He was a close friend of the owner of Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans, where the dish was reputed to have its origins. Just remember all that when you bite into this delicious dessert!
As far as the Australian touch goes, I did add crushed macadamia nuts, which deliver some delightful crunch, as well as our Bundaberg Rum for some real attitude.
To find Bundaberg Rum in the UK, just google “Bundaberg Rum UK”. Unfortunately, it is not available in the US. My suggestion there is to use Mount Gay rum.
It is ok to omit the rum but remember the alcohol burns off when you flambe the rum, so you just getting the flavor. Don’t forget to add some ice cream!
We have some other great banana desserts on Compass & Fork. You might also like:
Banana Spring Rolls, they’re delicious and a great way to use up any leftover spring roll wrappers.
Golden Fried Banana Fritters, the sesame seeds and honey make this an awesome dish.
The Bundy Bear
And if you are wondering about the polar bear? The Bundy Bear is the logo or icon of Bundaberg Rum. No there are no polar bears in Australia, not even in the Southern Hemisphere. He was reputedly introduced by the company to give the appearance of Bundaberg Rum warming you up. They needn’t worry, Bundy certainly does that!
Bundy Bear is also capable of talking and has also been the subject of a few humorous television commercials in Australia over the years.