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Bananas are the new 'in-thing'  as a healthy, energy boosting fruit but this discovery is 'cauld kale rehet' to Scots.We have been enjoying the golden fruit ( its nickname when first imported ) for a century now. Indeed most of the bananas consumed in Scotland are distributed by the UK's top importer Fyffes from their recently opened, 'state-of-the-ark', warehouse situated in Livingston, West Lothian.
 
Fyffes commenced business three centuries ago in Scotland although at that time bananas were the last thing on their mind! Brothers Henry and Nathaniel Fyffe set-up in Perth as general merchants selling everything from buttons to tobacco. In 1789 one of their sons emigrated to London, England, to seek his fortune and became an importer of specialist teas. A hundred years later a further Fyffe, Edward Wathen Fyffe, decided to take his sick wife to the Canary islands to convalesce. She quickly discovered the magic of bananas as an aid to recovery and this inspired her husband to take the Fyffe business in a new direction - the importation of bananas. Bananas, the name is derived from the Arabic for finger, proved to be very popular and were first sold in Scotland by fruiterers in the Fyffe's 'cauf-kintra' of Perth and in Dundee. Since 1902, with only the interruption of the Second World War, Scots have enjoyed the golden fruit.
 
So you can simply unzip a banana and enjoy it instantly or you can use them a bit more creatively in baking such as this week's recipe for Banana Loaf. Once again we are grateful to 'The Anniversary Cook-Book of the Dumfriesshire Federation SWRI 1922-1992' for this tasty treat.
 
Banana Loaf
 
Ingredients : 10 oz ( 275 g ) self raising flour; 4 oz ( 100 g ) butter or margarine; 6 oz ( 175 g ) soft brown sugar; 3 eggs; 2 large bananas; 1 level teaspoon cinnamon; 3 to 4 tablespoons milk; 4 oz (100 g) chopped apricots or walnuts ( optional )
 
Cream butter and sugar, add mashed bananas to mixture. Add beaten eggs one by one, add milk. Fold in flour and cinnamon. Bake for one hour at 350F degrees/ 180C degrees/gas mark 4, 1/2hour at 335F degrees/160C degrees/gas mark 3 in a 2 lb loaf tin.

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