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I want to open straight off with something that I probably shouldn’t. I hate bananas. Its true. They are at the top of my (shrinking) list of Devil Food. Its the taste. Its the texture. Its the smell. All of it. Funny thing is, I used to eat them just fine as a child. Banana & Hula Hoop sandwiches were a staple of the summer holidays spent with my grandmother with my cousins.

Bear that in mind.

It was my birthday last weekend (which did not include an orgy of Bacchanalian delights, unfortunately), and went to see some good friends of mine. Who had baked goods to offer. Oh yes. First was a delightfully fluffy pain rustica, then there was a white chocolate and raspberry cake, and a chocolate-studded shortcake. Finally there was this tea bread. Yep, I knew it was banana loaf. Yep, I normally would’ve baulked (let alone boaked) at the mere thought of it. But I’m having a bit of a year of living dangerously (trust me – I’d be happier swimming with sharks or leaping off mountains than eating bananas) so sucked it up (okay, with no promise that I would finish the slice) and tried it.

Beautiful. It truly was. Perhaps it was the gentle layers of spice provided by the cardomom masking the usual stench of banana that I can pick out of anything that’s been within 3 feet of a banana (I once denied free chocolate because it had been in a lunchbox next to a banana and, once unwrapped, I could smell that it had been tainted). Whatever it was, if you have a few bananas going manky getting ever-riper, then I urge you to make this recipe!

I was quite surprised to find that it came from the River Cottage franchise.

In fact, I’m going to be exquisitely lazy and link you straight to the recipe itself.

Spiced Banana Loaf

And, yes, bananas are still at the top of my hit list …