Banana Pudding Lover's Month was created by the Rodgers' family, makers of Rodgers' Banana Pudding Sauce. The purpose of Banana Pudding Lover's Month is to encourage families to re-create happy childhood memories or start a new family tradition by getting together to make and enjoy some old fashioned (or new-fangled) banana pudding
Reggie Rodgers (known as the Banana Pudding Man) grew up loving his mother's traditional homemade banana pudding. As a father, he made his mother's banana pudding recipe for his family. One day, Reggie's daughter Gin-Gin suggested they put their special pudding sauce in jars and sell it to the public. Today, Rodger's Banana Pudding Sauce is produced and marketed out of Norfolk, Virginia, and along with banana pudding, it is used in many recipes including desserts, smoothies, and dips.
History of Banana Pudding
Banana pudding is a dessert consisting of alternating layers of vanilla cookies, banana slices, and custard or pudding. It is most often thought of as a Southern dessert (Southern U.S.) but is popular all over the country.
In the late 1800's when bananas found their way to America, people loved them and started putting them in as many recipes as they could. Traditionally, banana pudding was made by combining bananas with cooked custard then topped with a meringue and baked to lightly brown the meringue. In 1901 Nabisco introduced vanilla wafer cookies and someone began using them as an added layer to the bananas and pudding. Eventually Nabisco put the recipe on their vanilla wafer box.
Although many people still make Banana Pudding the traditional, cooked custard and meringue way, most people prefer to go the fast and easy route using a boxed instant pudding mix (or Rodger's Banana Pudding Sauce) and whipped topping instead of meringue.
Paula Deen's Banana Pudding
Just for the occasion, I whipped up Paula Deen's "Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding" recipe. It is a deliciously rich version of banana pudding using cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies. My brother-in-law, who has never wanted to try banana pudding, ate some of this and loved it!
The only change I would make to Paula's recipe is that I would put a second layer of bananas in the middle of the pudding so that you get banana in every bite. You may also want to first sprinkle a little lemon juice on your bananas to keep them from going brown. Refrigerate your pudding for 4 hours or over night.
I hope you have some time before November draws to an end to begin a tradition with your family of indulging in and enjoying this 100 year old American favorite comfort food.