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Is Banana the new Chocolate?

maxine Apr 28, 2007 02:25 AM

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?

  1. m
    MakingSense Apr 28, 2007 11:31 AM

    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
      Cinnamon Apr 28, 2007 06:57 PM

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

      1. re: MakingSense
        moh Apr 29, 2007 07:12 AM

        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.

      2. jfood Apr 28, 2007 06:30 AM

        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
          rworange Apr 28, 2007 06:42 AM

          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
            maxine Apr 28, 2007 07:20 AM

            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
              babette feasts Apr 28, 2007 04:21 PM

              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
                MakingSense Apr 28, 2007 08:13 PM

                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
                  babette feasts Apr 29, 2007 09:31 AM

                  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
                    MakingSense Apr 29, 2007 09:58 AM

                    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
            QueenB Apr 28, 2007 07:10 AM

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

            1. re: QueenB
              jfood Apr 28, 2007 10:08 AM

              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
                QueenB Apr 28, 2007 10:24 AM

                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
                  jfood Apr 28, 2007 11:05 AM

                  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
                    ibstatguy Apr 29, 2007 09:18 AM

                    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
                    debbiel Apr 30, 2007 07:35 PM

                    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
                      QueenB May 1, 2007 05:34 AM

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

                    2. re: QueenB
                      blindowl Jul 17, 2009 10:35 PM

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

              2. hotoynoodle Apr 28, 2007 06:24 AM

                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. g
                  greenstate Apr 28, 2007 05:51 AM

                  I sure hope not!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: greenstate
                    ccbweb Apr 28, 2007 05:24 PM

                    Wow, do I concur with that.

                    1. re: ccbweb
                      Ted in Central NJ Apr 29, 2007 07:59 AM

                      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
                        dinwiddie May 1, 2007 08:35 AM

                        Me too. I hve never liked banana based desserts.

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