The Fabulous Story of a World War II Banana Bread Recipe

3 min readJan 25, 2022

A time-proof recipe

Banana tea bread (credit photo by author)

Here is the story of a banana tea bread recipe from my husband’s family.

During Second World War, my husband’s father was in the Canadian army and based in Brockville, Ontario.

His wife was to join him and, he started looking for a place to stay. He told us that he chose, randomly, a house that he thought was nice. He rang the doorbell. He introduced himself most cordially with his English tinged with a very Quebecois accent. He had asked the person if she would accept to host him and his wife during his stay. To his surprise, Mrs. L immediately agreed. And they stayed at the same place for all his duty, and my mother-in-law learned English there.

My parents-in-law are now deceased. We used to call them Papie and Mamie.

One of the things my father-in-law loved most about living at Mrs. L was the homemade banana bread she cooked. I don’t think he ate it every week because of rationing. But this bread must have left a mark on his taste buds for him to bring the famous recipe back to Quebec after the war.

The history of banana bread

According to Wikipedia, bananas appeared in the United States in 1870. The banana bread recipe was created years later but became popular in the 1930s. It was a frugal way to use and not lose the overripe bananas. In the Great Depression, bananas were expensive.

So at the time of the second war, it must have been a new cake for a young Canadian dessert lover.

There is a National Banana Bread day! It’s February 23.

60 years of marriage

Papie and Mamie were married for more than 60 years and, I think Mamie made “banana tea bread” every week or so…

Banana tea bread

Here is the authentic copy of the recipe handwritten by Papie’s hand.

Credit photo by author

This cake is delicious with butter or jam, whether for breakfast, dessert or tea. That is not 21st-century…


Optometrist by education | writer by passion | Francine Boilard blog about food, books, travel and ideas.