Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Appalachian Word of the Week -- NANNER

It seems, from a couple of comments I've received lately, that some of my dear readers are not reading the stories before commenting. Please make sure you're not one of them. Also, if you are insulted by our wonderful Appalachian heritage -- including our history and dialect -- then don't bother reading. Just allow those of us who love being from Appalachia to share the love and respect for our people. We're about love, not hate. No feuds allowed here.

Is the word NANNER spoken in your house? Do you know what it is?

Although we usually used the word banana instead, NANNER did sometimes slip out when my mom and dad talked about them. My grandmother used it often. My brother, Larry, used it all the time. Of course, he often used certain words and terms just to be different. I think it was his attempt at being humorous -- like the time he answered the phone and said, "President speakin'." It happened to be a call for me from the leader of the American Legion. His face drained of color and he started stuttering. I may tell you another time why the American Legion was calling a high school girl.

NANNERS were a staple in our house.

I often took a peanut butter and NANNER sandwich to school for lunch. I loved the fragrance of warmed NANNER, peanut butter, and Bunny bread as it cooked inside the classroom (We had no air conditioning in those days). Ahhh. I can smell it now.

NANNER split
Of course, NANNERS weren't only for sandwiches -- or sammiches as most of us called them. A special warm-weather treat was a NANNER split. The best of everything sweet. I loved the ice cream, chocolate syrup, butterscotch syrup, coconut, and peanuts sprinkled over the whipped cream. I mustn't forget the cherries on top. The healthiest thing in it was the NANNER itself.

My brother enjoyed slicing a NANNER for his bowl of cereal each morning. His huge bowl of cereal. I think he ate three boxes of corn flakes a week.

I prefer my NANNERS dark yellow, but without dark spots. I like them firm and sweet. If they're too green, they make you pucker and if they're too ripe, they are mushy and remind me of squash. Like Goldilocks, I like my NANNER just right.


Just right NANNER

Too ripe NANNER

Way too ripe NANNER (squash NANNER)
It does seem a bit strange that a tropical fruit was so popular in the mountains of Kentucky. They had to travel a long way to get to us. The trip was worth it if you ask me.

Did you call them NANNERS in your house? If not, what did you call them? And what is the best way you liked to eat them -- then and now? Also, what degree of ripeness do you prefer? Green, yellow, spotted, or nearly black?

I love to hear your stories.


  1. Yes... love nanners in my house!

  2. No picture of a "nanner" bread ripe?

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