The greatest esculent pleasure was Evelyn Waugh's eating the family's one, rationed banana while his children watched. Some consolation comes in the excellent William Bingley (1774-1823), who wrote on Wales, music, theology, botany, Hampshire (6,000 pages), world history (368 pages), and animals - such as "the esculent Swallow" and "esculent Snail".
EVEN JOHNSON nods. In defining banana, he refers one to plantain, which is simply "an esculent fruit". Esculency applies to many fruits. A word that might waylay one into fearing scorn or revelling in praise, it is in fact disinterested: from the Latin esca - food - it is "something fit for food". First used by Massinger (1625), who said it was a learned term, it was favoured by Bacon.