Sunday, June 8, 2014

Banana Kick - H-Mart: Cherry Hill, NJ

Banana Kick - H-Mart: Cherry Hill, NJ
Yesterday I posted a teaser image of this item on my NEW Sometimes Foodie Facebook page asking what flavor you thought these might be. Although the few guesses I received certainly sounded yummy, no one guessed the correct answer, banana!

I'll be posting photos of items on my page before I officially review them, so check it out if you'd like to see a little preview of what's to come.

Alright, let's feed my banana obsession and get this review started.

If you've been following my posts for a while you have watched my banana obsession grow and grow. This was a flavor I used to hate and dread, because I feared that everything would taste like banana Runts, but natural and artificial banana flavoring has really grown on me the last two years. Now, banana is one of my absolute favorite flavors. 

Since my banana obsession just seems to be getting stronger and stronger, I always look for new and interesting items to try, so when I saw these on special sale at H-mart I knew I had to have them.

I bought this because of it's flavoring, not the packaging, which is colorful and a bit crazy. Some of the design choices made sense, like the jungle backdrop and the monkey which represent the fruit's tropical roots, but why "kick?" When I was looking for the company's website I found out that a banana kick is a soccer technique, since I know absolutely nothing about sports (other than Mario Tennis...if that counts) this was news to me, but that seems completely unrelated to this snack.

Something else about this packaging that seems a bit off, other than the name, are the illustrations. The karate banana decked out in safari gear is wacky but tolerable, but that monkey has got to go. The illustrations for this bag seem really thrown together and simple, but that monkey design is really lazy looking. If it were tweaked or removed the design would look a lot more cohesive.

The bag functions and the product catches your eye, but I wouldn't say this is a great design.

Also, as JunkFoodGuy noted in his review, this package comes with a few allergy warnings. The company that makes Banana Kick also makes Shrimp Chips and peanut-based snack foods, so there is a chance that these might trigger some food allergies since all of these snack products are made in the same plant. I have no problem with shellfish or nuts, so I'm in the clear. 

I opened up the bag, and the first thing I could smell was a strong artificial banana aroma. I found the scent appealing, but it is dangerously close to banana runt territory. I may like banana flavored items, but I am still not in love with banana runts. Along with the banana smell there is a fried aroma that reminds me of the Umaibo sticks I've reviewed in the past.
The curls looks just like white cheddar cheese curls that are available here in the states, but they smell sweet and artificial. Kind of like a banana flavored breakfast cereal.

I might be a bit dense, but the official website mentioned that the curl shape was meant to represent the shape of a real banana and that did not occur to me at all. (Should I feel ashamed?) I just related these to other sweet curled snacks like the strawberry and coconut ones I reviewed last year.

I took a banana curl and popped it into my mouth. The texture is light and styrofoam, just like any fried curled snack I have ever had, and there is a really sweet artificial banana coating on the outside. The flavoring wasn't quite as artificial as banana runts, but there is no way you can say this was naturally flavored. To me, this tastes like an artificially flavored banana version of Kix cereal. The flavoring isn't overwhelming, and I found myself enjoying these snacks quite a bit. Then again I am obsessed with banana, JunkFoodGuy was not as enthusiastic about this snack.

For banana addicts like me, this is a really interesting little snack and the portion size is decent for the price. I'd recommend buying a bag if you see it in your area, but if you hate banana flavored items, this is definitely not for you.

© Maria Smith
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