Ifiele’ele Plantation now brings you sun dried organic bananas. They are not only healthy, but also delicious!! Great for an instant energy boost or a fuel source for endurance athletes.
Resurrected Solar Dryer
The re-design of Ifiele’ele’s solar dryer has meant we are now able to successfully dry fruit whenever we have an amount in excess of what we can consume before it deteriorates. The dryer now has a glass top and is painted black inside with several air-vents along the front, lower edge and one higher up at each end. This allows warm air to be sucked into the box through the low vents, rise through the shelves holding the peeled bananas, and be expelled through the higher vents at either end of the box.
The drying process is weather dependent and, with a succession of sunny days may take 3 to 5 days. It can take longer in cooler weather. The bananas are dipped in juice from Tahitian Limes or Maya Lemons, both grown at Ifiele’ele.
The bananas turn brown and shrivel up as the moisture is extracted by the moving warm air circulating through the dryer.
The Finished Package
So far we have experimented with ‘Fa’i Palagi‘ and ‘Fa’i Misiluki‘. ‘Fa’i‘ means ‘banana’ in Samoan. ‘Palagi’ means ‘foreigner’. Most Palagis living in Samoa love the Misiluki banana, but I personally prefer the Fa’i Palagi, especially when dried. Packaged up in an environmentally friendly brown paper bag, the dried bananas will keep unrefrigerated for months or even years. Most of the moisture has been extracted from the fruit so mould does not form.
I have actually been buying dried bananas in health food shops in Australia for years at quite an exorbitant price. In fact, when I cycled from Melbourne to Perth nearly 30 years ago and sent food packages to myself for retrieval at various roadhouses along the Nullabour, it was the dried bananas that kept me going against ferocious headwinds and fatigue. I am delighted to now be producing my own sun dried organic bananas and making great use of something that would otherwise go to waste.
Not only am I enjoying sun dried organic bananas but so are friends who visit Ifiele’ele Plantation. They receive a packet to take home. Guests also receive a complimentary packet. I have given many packets to Samoan friends who, after initial surprise at the sweet taste, seem to like sun dried organic bananas. My hidden agenda maybe to influence Samoan’s food consumption in the direction of healthy alternatives!!