Bananas are one of those power fruits; the sugar and fibre are able to give you an almost immediate boost of energy. And its not just a sugar high, you body can maintain that energy for a while, which is why if you work out you should have some on standby. So when you think about it, it does make sense that gonja, roasted bananas, are sold on the street, ready for you to eat, get energized and keep going.
The ladies who sell street food tend to fall in 2 extreme categories. Very nice or very nasty. You never know who you’ll be landing on. On this rare occasion, the vendor was neutral. Not overly motherly and not harsh like those fabled mid wives. And her gonja was also the same. What I mean is, at times you find gonja that is super soft. It is gooey, the outer roasted wall feels thin and when you break it, the banana might even be a bit sticky. This type was often very ripe and is very sweet.
Then there’s the gonja whose roasted coat is hardish, which is fairly firm and has a sweetness level of 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. I got something in between. The ladies know which is which and you can ask for what suits your fancy-you might get a curt “It’s all sweet!” if you land on a tough vendor. But don’t let that prevent you from enjoying the sweet, warm taste of gonja.
Buy a piece or two at about 500 shillings. It will be picked from the fire with the roasters’ bare fingers, wrapped in a piece of paper and handed to you.