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Eat this Word: Banoffi Pudding



April 20, 2010


WHAT? The proof is in the pudding. This creamy-and controversial-concoction was invented in the early 1970s at the Hungry Monk restaurant in Jevington, a town in East Sussex, England. In an attempt to create an easy, foolproof toffee dessert, chef Ian Dowding boiled condensed milk for a few hours to make a soft toffee, which he poured into a shortbread crust and topped with a layer of bananas and coffee-laced whipped cream. The Hungry Monk's owner, Nigel Mackenzie, came up with the name, which is a portmanteau made up of its two main ingredients-banana and toffee-and can also be spelled banoffee, banoffie, or bannofy. After the recipe's appearance in The Deeper Secrets of the Hungry Monk cookbook in 1974, the dish became a dinner party staple. Banoffi pie eventually gained such popularity that several British supermarket chains created their own version of the popular pudding and marketed it as an American product, much to the dismay of Dowding and Mackenzie. In 1994, in an attempt to prove his restaurant's claim to the recipe, Mackenzie offered 10,000 pounds to anyone who could find a similar recipe that predated the Hungry Monk creation. The challenge was unmet, prompting an apology from supermarket giant Marks and Spencer. WHERE? Jim Lahey's Beard House dinner WHEN? April 21, 2010 HOW? Strawnoffe Pie with Strawberries, Toffee–Balsamic Whipped Cream, and Graham Cracker Crust