Coconut is called the tree of life because every part of it is used. What should we call Banana tree, whose every part is eaten? Apart from the stem and the flower and fruit, the leaf is used in cooking. A friend from Nagaland once told me that they let the banana trees rot and eat the fatty worms that grow inside.
I can’t think of a part that’s my favorite, I love them all, depending on the recipe. One part that i have not had in a while is the triangular tip of the flower – we used to eat it raw with a little mustard oil and salt.
P.S.- Now that we are comparing coconut and banana trees, do you know that Kerala has a localised folklore of how Mary with little Jesus was fleeing down hot Kerala roads and asked the banana tree for shade and food. The tree refused but the coconut tree obliged. Thus the banana tree was cursed that it will bear fruit just once and die but the coconut tree will bear fruits perennially!
P.P.S – There is a phrase in Odia called ‘Kadali baanjha’ for women who wouldn’t conceive after one child. Baanjha means a barren woman.