After returning from my trip to Portugal, I was invited to a Good Friday dinner at a friend’s place. I wanted to contribute something to the meal, and since the host was preparing a soup, I thought bread and butter would be nice. The ingredients of the soup were sweet potato, carrots and coconut, so I figured something sweet and exotic would go well with that. I went with a simple focaccia bread, and added a special butter, which I had had in Porto, at Cantina 32.
As an appetizer, it is customary in Portugal (and many other southern European countries) to serve bread, olives and butter. I visited Cantina 32 on a rainy day, and was seated at a large, shared table. The bread they served was a nice sourdough bread, and the butter was called Banana Butter. Initially I presumed it was made of banana entirely, but the waitress told me it was prepared by their chef, using ordinary butter, mixed with banana and sea salt.
In an attempt to make this for my friends, I went online to find the recipe. After some searching, I came across a recipe on a Dutch blog, Zoet&Roze. The recipe uses fresh banana, and I had the impression they used dried banana in Portugal. But, since it was my best shot at anything proven effective, I made it as the recipe prescribed. It seemed from the text that Emmelien (the author) visited the exact same restaurant.
I prepared the butter and took the bread and banana butter to my friends. It was indeed a very tasty butter, and they were impressed with what I had whipped up. However, it wasn’t as I remembered the Cantina 32 banana butter to be.
So, I decided to make another version of the same butter, this time using dried banana, and more corse sea salt. I mixed 100 grams of butter with 25 grams of banana chips, an added a good amount of sea salt. I first crushed the banana chips in the blender, and then added the soft butter and salt. The initial taste was a lot closer to the experience I had in Porto. This is promising!
After refrigerating the butter for a good couple of hours, I tried it on some bread, and it was divine! This banana butter tastes great on some plain bread, or mixed with more sweet bread toppings, such as chocolate sprinkles.