The Japanese know there’s nothing better than a chocolate covered banana, and if you want to get in on the trend, keep reading on to learn more about choco bananas!
If you didn’t know, choco bananas are a popular Japanese snack sold by street vendors at festivals and are made by dipping bananas into melted chocolate. After the chocolate coating has hardened, the fan-favorite festival food is served on a popsicle stick-like skewer, making them the perfect on-the-go snack for all ages. Though the concept of choco bananas is rather basic, vendors tend to get really imaginative when decorating the delicious treat by using anything from sprinkles, to crushed nuts, to food coloring-dyed chocolates to bring the beloved snack to life. It’s no surprise why they’re so popular – who doesn’t love a fun chocolate covered banana?!
Different Kinds of Choco Bananas in Japan
There are two main kinds of choco bananas: the kind you get at festivals, and Tokyo Bananas. As mentioned above, the typical festival-style choco banana may vary by each vendor’s style and decoration preferences, but they will always remain consistent in using melted chocolate to cover the banana, and waiting until the chocolate has hardened to serve the Japanese snack on a popsicle stick.
As for Tokyo Bananas, these are a bit different. They’re not technically considered to be choco bananas, but because the chocolate covered banana treat only makes an appearance at festivals, it can be difficult to get your fill. That’s where Tokyo Bananas come in. Tokyo Bananas are banana-shaped sponge cakes with cream filling, and can be found in stores all over Japan throughout the year. In that sense, Tokyo Bananas are the most popular take on choco bananas.
How Can You Try Japanese Choco Bananas?
If you want to try a choco banana for yourself, you might have to plan a trip to Japan during the summer. That’s when some of the most beloved festivals in Japan take place, like Gion Matsuri. Gion Matsuri is held in the Gion district of Kyoto throughout the month of July, and is possibly Japan’s best-known and biggest festival. The original purposes of the festival were purification and pacification of disease-causing entities, and the most popular event during the festival is called Yamaboko Junko, or the procession of the floats.
Another popular summer festival is Awa Odori, or Awa Dance Festival. Awa Odori takes place in August in the Tokushima Prefecture of Shikoku, Japan, and invites groups of dancers (called ren) to dance in the street. Sounds like the perfect place to enjoy a choco banana if you ask me!
If you can’t make it to Japan for festival season, you can always make your own choco bananas at home. There are many choco banana recipes available online and they’re all so easy to follow. No matter what recipe you follow, you’re going to need at least six ounces of melted dark chocolate, as many ripe but firm bananas as you want (though you’ll have to increase your dark chocolate measurements accordingly). From there, all you’ll need to do is cut the bananas in half, insert a popsicle stick, and place them in the freezer while your chocolate melts. Then, when the time comes, just dip the bananas in the chocolate and give them a dusting of the topping of your choosing – sprinkles, chopped nuts, granola, you name it! Once that’s done, place the choco bananas in the freezer for 30 minutes and voià: you’ve got yourself a real Japanese snack!
Japanese choco bananas are a tasty traditional treat that can be enjoyed anywhere in the world. To find even more unique sweets like this, make sure to stop by the Bokksu Boutique and check out our Classic Bokksu Japanese snack box subscription program.
Tokyo Bananas can come in all different kinds of designs, like these Pokemon ones!