Stark's Bananica! A (Foamy?) Candy Review

Stark Bananica

I found Štark's Bananica, "the original chocolate coated foamy dessert", at Regina's Italian Star Deli. From what I could tell after a brief internet search and Google Translate, this is a Serbian candy, but I think either Google Translate or my experience of this candy might be a little bit off, because this is the Štark website description of it:

Deo detinjstva koji nikada ne jenjava. Penasti ukus Bananice preliven čokoladom je zauvek omiljeni slatkiš.

According to Google Translate this means: "Part of childhood that never fades. Foam flavored chocolate flavored bacon is forever favorite sweets."

If I'm reading this correctly, I should have been eating bacon flavoured like chocolate that itself was made to taste like foam. I have a headache. That sentence does not describe "forever favorite sweets". It describes a serious food crime.

Luckily, I am here to tell you that this description is wholly unrelated to the candy I ate. The candy I ate did not taste of foam-flavoured chocolate or chocolate-flavoured bacon in the shape of a banana. It tasted approximately like what you would expect a banana-shaped candy called Bananica coated in chocolate would taste like: banana and chocolate.

When I first bit into the Bananica, I expected it to have the fake marshmallow texture of Canada's McCormick's marshmallow bananas. I haven't had them in years, but I remember them having a thicker, almost chewy texture but without the stretchiness of real marshmallows. The Bananica banana part was foamier than North America's fake marshmallow candies, but it wasn't exactly foamy. Its texture was neither unpleasant nor delightful. It was simply light and soft and inoffensive.

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As you can see from the above photo, the edges of the banana interior were a bit crystalline, which created a surprising sugar crunch that offset the softer banana inside with a bit of tanginess. This part was surprising and a touch confusing with the first bite, but it grew on me during subsequent ones. I'm not sure if the crystalline effect is a consistent part of the Bananica experience, because it could be due to accidental freezing during shipment — I bought it in Canada in November after all — but it would be great if it were.

The chocolate coating was thin, which I expected to be disappointing as a chocolate fan, but it turned out to be the perfect amount to play against but not overpower the subtlety of the banana flavour.

My assessment? I would eat this again and want a box of them in my cupboard. They're small enough to feel guilt-free, and that surprising flash of tanginess between the banana flavour and the crystallized sugar was a perfect grace note next to the chocolate. Viva, Bananica!


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