Welcome to February 23rd on the National Day Calendar.

If you have ever turned overripe bananas into delicious banana bread then you already know the virtue of the adage, waste not want not. But before the 1930s most banana based desserts only used slices of the fruit in perfect condition. And the only mention of bananas baked into bread was in a recipe from the late 1800s that called for dried banana flour.

The Great Depression changed all of that. During a time when food was scarce, no one would dream of tossing out fruit, even if it was past its prime. The real hero was a newly discovered ingredient which did most of the heavy lifting, baking soda.

By the 1930s, cookbooks made use of baking soda in all kinds of quick bread recipes and ripe bananas played a starring role!

On National Banana Bread Day, bake up a tradition that’s still good to the last crumb.