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Apr 28, 2007 02:25 AM

Is Banana the new Chocolate?

Okay, I know Banana could never replace chocolate, but it occurrs to me that the past three desserts I have had at nice restaurants were banana based (moose, crem brulee and souffle). Two of them were with the pre fix and one was the signatuture of the place. The first one I thought was exotic, now I am wondering. Is this a trend?

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      1. re: ccbweb

        Ditto! I REALLY can't stand the smell of bananas. The taste is not too great either, IMHO.

        Now as to a good quality dark chocolate...I think that both the taste and the aroma are intoxicating!

        1. re: ccbweb

          Me too. I hve never liked banana based desserts.

      2. bananas are cheaper than chocolate, which might explain why they were on a prix-fix. chocolate desserts outsell all others in restaurants by a mile, so it's not going anywhere!

        1. For the banana lovers and chocolate lovers it gives us a chance to enjoy a choice.

          Jfood does not think its a trend since bananas have been on the radar for a long time. I think it has to do with the change of seasons. Chocolate is more wintry for some as as the weather is changing we'll see more fruity springish desserts. A combo of the two would be heaven, a chocolate souffle with a banana creme anglais or a banana souffle and a chocolate suace. :-))

          14 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            Yes, I think it is a seasonal thing. Usually pre-spring fruit season it is citrus with lots of blood orange desserts. However the citrus season wasn't that good this year so bananas are probably standing in for the citrus.

            1. re: rworange

              That is a good explanation. I was thinking that spring we would be having alot of fresh fruits and berry's, but your right, the whether has been so weird this year that maybe bananas are the only thing availible.

              I am not complaining, and jfood, banana souffle with chocolate sauce! YUM!

              1. re: maxine

                This time of year is the most frustrating for me as a pastry chef. Citrus and pears/apples are reaching the end of their seasons (quality is declining), and it's still at least a month until apricots and cherries and blueberries, closer to two months for local fruit up here in the NW. Apparently there are some decent CA strawberries out right now, but otherwise, fresh fruit choices are limited to tropical and rhubarb. Luckily I love rhubarb. And yes, I do currently have bananas on a dessert.

                1. re: babette feasts

                  Coming from the Gulf South and French heritage, I never thought of tropical fruits or classic desserts as being limiting. Coconuts, pineapples, bananas, lemons, plain and flavored custard, pastry creams, flans, meringues, nuts of all sorts, puff pastries, pate a choux, crepes, mille-feuilles, cakes, tortes...
                  You can bake for weeks without even resorting to chocolate.

                  1. re: MakingSense

                    Tropical is a vast and delicious category of fruit, but since I try to keep my desserts mostly seasonal/local, I generally limit my menu to one or two tropical Items at any given time. Although this is Seattle and we'd all often rather be in the tropics, it wouldn't fit in with the restaurant to have a dessert menu of coconut flan, pineapple fool, lychee creme brulee, rum cake, macadamia torte....mmmm, that reminds me, I should go to that Caribbean place up the street : )

                    1. re: babette feasts

                      Don't know what the overall theme/style of your restaurant is, but could you explore what Seattle had for dessert 50 or 100 years age? Perhaps you could play up some local Seattle products that aren't seasonal. Coffee? There is also a major Greek festival every year so I imagine that you have a large Greek immigrant population - maybe some interesting honey, nut, pastry desserts honoring that heritage.
                      Not sure Grunge Music desserts are an easy category but Seattle history might give you a little breathing room until the next wave of fresh local products come in.

            2. re: jfood

              Mmmmm or chocolate mousse pie with a layer of bananas. Not high-class but I bet it's yummy.

              1. re: QueenB

                Not High class? First class QB. That sounds fantastic.

                After watching "The Queen" last night (no relation i hope) i'll stay outside the gates and eat some chocolate mousse and bananas.

                1. re: jfood

                  Gah! No relation at all. The only queen I am, is the Queen of klutz.

                  Banana and chocolate. Some people hate the combination. I, personally love it. Banana bread with chocolate chips. Banana cake with chocolate frosting. Black-bottom banana cream pie (heaven!). Chocolate-banana milkshakes.... I could go on and on.

                  1. re: QueenB

                    growing up we had a ice cream confection on a stick called a "bullet". Shaped like a banana on a stick. from the inside out was srawberry ice cream banana ice cream then dipped in chocolate. No on a Mr Humor truck but sold at fairs.

                    1. re: jfood

                      have twice had some homemade/handmade(?) ice cream in hawaii, on the big island, that sounds very similar although not on a stick. darn good

                    2. re: QueenB

                      There are people who hate banana-chocolate combos? Wow. I no tastes differ, but I can't imagine saying no to a banana dipped in dark chocolate.

                      1. re: debbiel

                        Believe it or not, yes. I've had people cringe when I tell them I put chocolate in my banana bread.

                      2. re: QueenB

                        QueenB, I recently had a killer banana cream pie for my birthday! YUM!!!

                2. Maybe it has something to do with current food trends. Latin/Caribbean, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, etc. Not food cultures that traditionally have chocolate sweets and desserts. Cacao may be a substantial crop but it's sold to others who use it for sweet chocolate. (It's not often used as a non-sweet as in Mexico.)

                  Aren't most of our chocolate desserts of Western European origin? Maybe it's time to get out of our rut with dessert like we're doing with the rest of our menus.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MakingSense

                    I think I'm going to have to make caramelized plantains with some kind of mole' sauce now.

                    1. re: MakingSense

                      No NO NOOO!!! Chocolate can never be a rut!!! Chocolate is the fifth food goup! Chocolate is manna from Heaven!!! MUST HAVE CHOCOLATE!!!!!

                      However, I recently had a really good Bananas Foster, and was surprised how much I loved it. And those Vietnamese Fried Bananas, very edible. I am starting to enjoy bananas more and more.