Up until my recent visit to Hawaii, I thought banana bread was something one baked only when one wanted to use up over-ripe bananas. I have a family banana bread recipe that I’ve made in this instance for years. It is okay, but not outstanding. It only takes 2-3 bananas, and actually, it’s a little dry, but adequate. And that is how I’ve always thought about banana bread – something that keeps bananas from going to waste, and is okay, but not great. Until now.
Banana bread is a much sought-after delicacy in Hawaii. Much like I might pursue the perfect chocolate cake or the best chardonnay, Hawaii visitors search for the best banana bread. Guide books list the places that sell banana bread and debate which one is the best. At first, I found this laughable. After all, it’s banana bread we’re talking about here. But then, a trip down on side road off the road to Hana to the Keanae Peninsula lead us to Aunty Sandy’s, home of the best banana bread ever. (Aunty Sandy’s also has shave ice, but that is a story for another day.)
Aunty Sandy’s banana bread was soft, golden and crumbly, with a subtle sweetness and an unobtrusive banana flavor. The loaf was still warm when we bought it, and my initial instinct was to buy two. I should have followed that instinct, because when we came back later to get more, Aunty Sandy’s was closed. But on our return trip we did score some photos of a lava rock beach that we had missed before, and the historic stone church which survived the 1946 tsunami.
Since returning home I’ve been searching for a banana bread recipe that could duplicate Aunty Sandy’s. Apparently everyone else is too, because any internet search on banana bread leads you to blogs and reviews praising Aunty Sandy’s. So far I haven’t found a recipe that equals it yet, so I may just need to make another trip to Hawaii.
© Huffygirl 2014
Interesting post. Never thought about banana bread that way. Must admit I have had some delicious homemade bread by friends over the years. Thanks for sharing the photos as well.
Thanks. I never thought about banana bread like this before either.
I don’t know about Aunt Sandy’s and curious if you can get the recipe- do share! I prefer banana cake to bread– moister, maybe sweeter? More like dessert than breakfast bread.
Maybe if I look for banana cake recipes I’ll find something more like Aunty Sandy’s. I’ve already tried one so-called Hawaiian banana bread recipe, which was good, but not Aunty Sandy’s. I even ended up buying special ingredients – cake flour and real butter, such is my quest to recreate the perfect banana bread.
My father used to put pineapple juice into his banana bread recipe so maybe that’s the secret ingredient 🙂
That may be, and would certainly make sense for a Hawaii recipe, but it didn’t really have a taste of pineapple juice at all.
I love banana bread and lost a lovely recipe for it years ago, but hey I shouldn’t be eating it anyway!
If you find it Gilly, let me know. Maybe it is the one!
I love moist carrot bread that is like cake. Maybe you could use a recipe for carrot cake and just use bananas instead of carrots? When I buy banana bread, that is not moist enough, I spread some unsalted pure butter on each slice of bread. Delicious!
I think going back to Hawaii for another little holiday is not a bad idea! 🙂
I like the idea of using the carrot bread recipe. Maybe I’ve been searching for the wrong thing.
I have a recipe I love, but it doesn’t sound anything like Aunt Sandy’s.
Is it mom’s Bisqquick recipe?
A very good excuse to go back to dreamy Hawaii. 😀
I think so too!
I guess I didn’t pay attention to the banana bread craze when I went to Hawai’i on 2 different trips. Interesting. I was too focused on Kona coffee (yum) and macadamia nuts.
I wasn’t going to pay any attention to it either, until we happened to taste it. Maybe if I liked coffee or macadamia nuts, I would have missed it too.