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Photo by Raya Ramsey.

Taste Test Thursday: Banana Pudding

This might be the most fun tasting we’ve done. As soon as the container lids cracked open, folks came running to the web team desks. We went with four local joints: a gourmet grocery, a bbq king, a fried chicken master and a home-cooking market. They each had vanilla wafers, two had a little whipped cream, and one had tons of frosting/whipped cream (this one, from Eatzi’s, is dubbed “Banana Cream,” but is still banana pudding, just with lots of cream on top).

THE CONTENDERS:
A: Bubba’s Cooks Country
B: Celebration Market
C: Pecan Lodge
D: Eatzi’s

THE TASTERS:
Respectable adults who scrambled like kids to be one of the lucky 8 tasters.

WHAT THEY SAID:

A: Bubba’s Cooks Country

  • “This tastes like melted cake.”
  • “Good, but way too sweet.”
  • “Creamier. Foamy whipped cream. Warmer. I like the salt.”
  • “THIS IS SO GOOD. A hint of cinnamon maybe? So homey tasting.”
  • “Marshmallowy. Banana flavor is real, not overpowering. Light.”
  • “Delicious, not too sweet.”
  • “Warm, banana-y, creamy.”
  • “Fairly plain, but I’m not really going to complain that much. It’s banana pudding.”

banana_pudding_taste_test_2
B: Celebration Market

  • “Way too sweet. Dry sugar taste. Gelatinous. Not banana-y enough.”
  • “Pretty flavorless. Not terrible, but not great. Custardy.”
  • “Very banana-y! The freshest for sure.”
  • “Not flavorful enough; sort of bland.”
  • “Looks like gravy. Tastes like someone added sugar to a boiled egg that had a run through a food processor.”
  • “Creamy, not enough banana.”
  • “Weird jiggly texture, thin custard. The worst of the four.”
  • “Dangerously close to tapioca territory with this consistency.”

C: Pecan Lodge

  • “Great texture. Sweeter. Homemade whipped cream.”
  • “Big chunks of banana. Doughy.”
  • “Perfect. Chunky, bready, everything melds together. Lil flip – “Game Over.””
  • “Loving the generously-sized banana pieces in this on, MMM!”
  • “An actual chunk of banana! Lots of cookie chunks. Smooth pudding texture.”
  • “Tastes like nothing. I hate this one.”
  • “Cookie-filling ratio is off. Too much cookie. Real bananas, but not much else, flavor-wise.”
  • “Extremely custardy. I hate the word “creamy,” but it qualifies.”

banana_pudding_taste_test_3
D: Eatzi’s

  • “Meh.”
  • “Lots of whipped cream. Can’t get an accurate reading! The texture is, like, powdery. DISLIKE.”
  • “Standard flavor. Chunks of banana, but, meh.”
  • “Airy, delicious, and wonderful.”
  • “This tastes like someone’s bananas went bad and they panicked.”
  • “Chalky. Ok.”
  • “Not as sweet. Real bananas, good ratio of vanilla wafers.”
  • “The use of whipped cream shows a lack of confidence in your product. Why don’t you just throw Cool Whip on top while you’re at it? Cowards.”

THE TALLY:
A: Bubba’s Cooks Country – 5 votes
B: Celebration Bakery – 0 votes
C: Pecan Lodge – 3 votes
D: Eatzi’s – 0 votes

CONCLUSION:

Well, it’s clear that Banana Cream from Eatzi’s didn’t make the cut. Too much cream, which is probably why it’s called what it is. There are real bananas in it, but there’s not enough flavor to make that count. Celebration’s pudding had a really jiggly texture that seemed to distract from the flavor, which was pretty sweet.

Our runner-up goes to Pecan Lodge, with 3 votes. Creamy, bright, with chunks of banana and tons of vanilla wafers. Like, tons and tons of vanilla wafers. This one is really good. Half the tasters wavered back and forth between Pecan Lodge (C) and Bubba’s (A) before making their choices. But Bubba’s stole our hearts today. Yeah, the fried chicken, but also, the banana pudding. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. Banana-y, but not too banana-y. Just enough vanilla wafers, real mashed bananas, and warm. One taster said the warm temperature was what made it so great. It’s creamy with a touch of salt and foamy whipped cream, and apparently hits the perfect balance.

We stick firmly by our choice: Bubba’s Cooks Banana Pudding.