Bananas are a productive and easily grown agricultural product. All parts of the plant can be used. Ripe fruit, in addition to being eaten raw, can also be cooked to produce sweet or savory foods or processed into various products. Methods of banana processing include drying, frying in hot oil, baking whole, toasting over low heat, and steaming.
Banana chips: Slices of ripe banana are fried in hot oil, then scooped up and drained on paper.
Grilled bananas: Fruits are grilled over charcoal for a popular snack.
Dark banana dessert (guan): Ripe bananas are mashed and cooked with sugar and coconut milk to make a popular sweet dish.
Banana flour: This is made by drying coarse slices of green bananas then grinding into flour. The flour is gluten-free but rich in starch and can be added to wheat or rice flour to make banana-flavoured cookies.
Dried bananas: Peeled fruit are sun-dried whole for 5 or 6 days. They should be turned every 2 days and protected from flies. Alternatively, a drying oven or dehydrator may be used.
Banana crackers: Use ripe bananas mixed with flour and salt. A little sugar may be added to taste. Knead the dough and make into a long sausage-shape. Steam until cooked. Let it cool and then thinly slice. Dry in the sun. Fry and eat as a snack.
Rope: Banana leaves can be used to produce rope. The leaves are pulled into long strips, either by hand or machine, smoked with sulfur and then dried until completely dry. The dried strips are twisted into rope.
Spiritual ornaments: Leaves are also used to make krathong and makbeng, used in the baci ceremony. Medium soft banana leaves are selected and either steamed or dipped in hot water to soften the fibers. They are then folded into a cone shape before being decorated with marigold flowers.