Paddock To Plate

How To Make Banana Jam

Matt Moran joins Jo Bumbak in Gascoyne, WA, to make her famous banana jam recipe. Watch in the video above! 

Jo Bumbak is famous in the Gascoyne; Western Australia for turning second’s fruit and vegetables into an array of delicious preserves, pickles, desserts and more.

Most fruit or veg classed as a ‘second’ will only have minor imperfections, such a slight bruising or minor damage to the skin. Seconds don’t make it onto supermarket shelves and much of it is thrown away. Turning ‘seconds’ into value-added products is a great way to ensure limited wastage.
In 2000, Jo opened a road side stall to sell excess mangoes to tourists. In 2002, she took it one step further and decided to make mango jam with the left over fruit. She now single handily produces over 100 product lines, incorporating everything that grows in Carnarvon.

Some of her products include:
• Jams
• Chutneys
• Pickles
• Sauces
• Salsa’s
• Fruit smoothies
• Frozen fruit
• Desserts
• Cakes, muffins, biscuits and confectionery.

Jo receives the majority of the second’s fruit from plantations in the area. Fruit that is deemed ‘imperfect’ i.e – wrong size, shape, and colour or marked is not suitable for supermarket demands and is therefore considered a waste product. Growers have to throw away perfectly edible fruit and in some cases, 40-60% of a crop can go to waste if the fruit looks damaged or is too small. Fortunately, Jo puts the fruit to good use.

One of her most famous products is her banana jam. Her unique recipe sees ordinary yellow bananas turn into a rich red colour. Jo struggled initially to sell this product as it was often mistaken for strawberry jam. The colour change is caused by the tree ripened bananas being cooked at a high temperature.

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