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