The banana shortage continues, as shown by this photo of Royal Banana-kun next to a sign blaming the shortage on a television show (the Kumiko Mori show, no doubt). How can you do the Morning Banana Diet without bananas! And what’s that next to the left of Royal Banana-kun? Packages of banana donut mix. Holy cow!
As members of the Morning Banana Diet forum know, one market that had run out of bananas stocked the banana section in the produce department with Morning Banana Diet books instead. How can you do the diet without the bananas?
But the worst is yet to come: not only is there banana donut mix in the banana section, but there are a bunch of Meiji’s new Rich Banana Chocolate bars there. Well, maybe you can eat the banana chocolate for your 3:00 p.m. chocolate snack — that’s allowed under the diet.
And the banana chocolate is actually pretty good. Even better than the new Lotte Banana Crunky ice cream bar. There is certainly a banana boom in Japan, but it’s somehow gone off the rails from a weight loss diet to a weight gain sweets boom.
The Meiji Rich Banana Chocolate bar, by the way, is white chocolate with lots of dehydrated banana solids as the third ingredient after cocoa butter and sugar. It doesn’t taste at all like artificial banana (one of the simplest artificial flavors to make, the one you make on the first day of Food Science 101). White chocolate uses cocoa butter without cocoa: in other words, they remove the cocoa from the cocoa mass, leaving the cocoa butter, replacing cocoa with a flavor. In the United States the flavor is almost universally vanilla (even though the USDA allows other flavors), but in Japan you find green tea and strawberry and all kinds of other white chocolate.
The Lotte Banana Crunky bar contains banana juice and solids, although somewhat buried in the other ingredients.