Here in the South, the best known banana dish HAS to be banana pudding. Nowadays, most people make banana pudding with ripe bananas, instant vanilla pudding, Cool Whipand Nilla wafers. After the introduction of vanilla wafers by Nabisco in 1901, the recipe began being printed on the package – I can’t tell you how many “family recipes” for banana pudding I’ve seen that are word-for-word, the Nilla wafer recipe.
For me, TRUE banana pudding should be custard-based, and always tastes better the next day (day old and BOLD, baby!). Opinions differ on whether the pudding should be topped with a baked meringue or a whipped cream, but I’ve always preferred whipped cream (mostly in part to my incredible dislike of the texture of meringue). Making this recipe from scratch seems daunting, but it’s really quite easy. Plus, the flavor and texture of the pudding is well worth the effort!