Friday, April 24, 2009
Variety Friday: The Banana Fad
The winter preoccupation with kinako (toasted soy flour) and mochi (rice cake) seems to be entering it's end game. The new fad is banana. My husband was given the sticker pictured above when he bought a banana doughnut at the Doughnut Plant. The flip side of this sticker gives a short history of both Chiquita Banana and the New York City Doughnut Plant chains. Unfortunately, the donut itself left something to be desired.
At any rate, banana-flavored items are everywhere right now. Various sweets are exploding in places like New Days convenience store. I've also noticed banana pretzel sticks (like Pocky), cookies, cakes, and various other sweets in the local markets.
I wonder how it is decided that every company is going to start pumping out food in one particular flavor. Awhile ago, there was a huge rush on all of the bananas in Japan because an overweight television personality mentioned that she lost weight by eating bananas for or with breakfast each morning. Though the show she discussed her diet on said that her technique would work if one ate any fruit, everyone fixated on bananas. For awhile, those of us who enjoyed the occasional banana couldn't find any in the shops, but that seemed to have settled down.
That craze for real bananas may or may not have spawned the current fad. It might be that companies felt that a positive association was being formed or that people who had been noshing on bananas for the past 6 months or so have developed a taste for them. At any rate, this is the fad at hand at the moment so a few banana treats are likely to be reviewed soon.