Mock Banana – Recipe No. 148

This is the legendary and authentic wartime recipe for ‘Mock Banana’.

Before the war the Brits imported 70% of their food which equated to around 20 million tons per year!

Imports dropped significantly to about 1/3rd and consequently many foods such as bananas were impossible to get hold of. Prior to the bar the Brits went crazy for bananas so it was one of the foods that were truly missed.

Somewhere, some strange culinary mind obviously decided that a substitute was needed. This was when the good old parsnip was brought into play…

My lunch today consisted of 4 mock banana sandwiches and actually, despite the rather bizarre experience, they tasted pretty good! (but then again I do love parsnips)

Mock Banana

1 medium parsnip per round of sandwiches
2-3 teaspoon of caster sugar per parsnip
2-3 squirts of banana essence per parsnip (you can buy on eBay)


Peel and chop up the parsnip and boil until soft
Drain and mix in the caster sugar and banana essence
Mash until fairly smooth
Cool down
Spread on your bread and make your sandwiches!


18 thoughts on “Mock Banana – Recipe No. 148

    • You can substitute one banana for one egg. Apple sauce, chia seeds, flax seed powder, soft tofu are all good substitutes for eggs in baking.

  1. When I heard the late great Margeurite Patten speak at the re-opening of the Cabinet War Rooms, one of the canapes was mock banana on squares of toast. I enjoyed it [butmy OH loathes parsnips so have never made it in my own kitchen] Well done with the weight loss. You are an inspiration- blessings xx

  2. I remember a dear friend telling me she made this for her husband who loved it, thinking she had got hold of bananas in wartime, but when he found out the truth he refused to eat any more.

  3. I’ve tasted the mock banana sandwiches when attending a Christmas event at the Stockport Air Raid Shelters some years ago. I volunteered to taste them and I must say that it was very nice. I thought it tasted like bananas, but the sense of smell being very influential in our perception of food, It was probably the smell of the banana essence that gave that impression. Thank you for that recipe, I always wanted to try to make some. Bananas being very fattening the parsnips can be a good substitute when you have a little craving for bananas… 🙂

  4. This is the second time I’ve heard about Mock Banana in a week! I think they were talking about it on Wartime Farm.

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  6. Reblogged this on The 1940's Experiment and commented:

    Just thought I’d reblog a video recipe I did a couple of years ago for ‘Mock Banana’.

    Mock Banana really was a much used ration book recipe using parsnips and banana essence….it wasn’t as bad as it sounds!

    C xxx

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