One of Mochidoki’s core values is “Respect the Flavors.” In this series, we’ll explore the many ingredients and flavors featured in our mochi lineup, giving them the time, attention and respect they deserve.
What is banana pudding?
Banana pudding is a dessert made up of layers of vanilla custard, cookies and sliced bananas, topped with whipped cream or meringue. Layered in a dish, the cookies (usually vanilla wafers) absorb the sweet custard and together with the bananas, these three ingredients join together to create a bite bursting with flavor.
(Image courtesy of The Spruce Eats)
Where does banana pudding come from?
Banana Pudding may be synonymous with the South, but contrary to popular belief, the classic dessert didn’t actually originate there. It wasn’t until the late 1800’s, with the invention of faster steam ships, that the banana made its way to America from the Caribbean and Central America. By the end of the century, bananas were a staple in produce stores, no matter the season. With their popularity, came more dishes and desserts featuring this exotic new fruit.
The first recipe for Banana Pudding came from the Massachusetts based magazine, Good Housekeeping and soon hundreds of publications published their versions of this easy, tasty dessert. After WWII, banana pudding became so closely associated with the South; some theorize that the fact it could be made quickly and in bulk to serve at large gatherings was responsible for its prominence in Southern kitchens.
What does banana pudding taste like?
No matter the recipe, the perfect banana pudding is creamy and sweet. The melding of flavors and textures from the gooey vanilla pudding, the crisp wafer cookies, and the ripe bananas creates a perfect bite.
(Image courtesy of Taste of Southern)
How is banana pudding used?
Another theory for banana pudding’s popularity in the South is its preparation. Traditional recipes call for layering ingredients and placing it in the refrigerator until it's ready to be served – perfect for hot Southern summers. Though this method is still popular, many recipes suggest baking in the oven for just a few minutes to brown the meringue top.
Today, many bakeries and restaurants offer single serving portions in Mason jars or small 4 oz shooters, instead of serving in a large trifle dish– a quick, delicious after dinner treat. No matter how this dessert is prepared and served, banana pudding is as popular as the day it was introduced.
When creating our seasonal mochi ice cream, we kept banana pudding’s history and flavor profile in mind, emulating a layered, textured bite. Our take on this southern classic offers an elevated twist, brimming with the flavors of ripe banana, vanilla cookies and creamy pudding.