Today is National Banana Bread Day!

Banana bread is a common enough sweet bread today, but it didn’t originally appear in the United States until after the 1870s when bananas first came to the country. The clipping below is an ad from the Vienna Model Bakery in 1893, which was perhaps one of the first to produce banana bread in the United States.

Vienna Model Bakery introduces Banana Bread

In the early 1900s Hawaii, a surplus of bananas led to the fruit expiring faster than it could be eaten. The island scrambled for new recipes to use up all the bananas, one of which was banana bread.

Banana Bread invention of necessity in Hawaii

But banana bread really took off in the 1930s, when baking soda and baking powder became a staple in American cooking. It was printed in recipe books (Balanced Recipes in 1933 and later Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book in 1950) which gave the dessert bread a boost, and new variations were shared among friends and in the newspapers of the time.

Banana Bread Recipe, 1930

Banana Bread Recipe, 1930

Banana Bread Recipe, 1950

So if you’ve got a few overripe bananas lying around, today is the day to use them! Do you have a favorite banana bread recipe or memories associated with the treat? Let us know! And try searching for more recipes and history related to banana bread.

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