The Sad Truth About Banana Extract

FoodChic bought some banana extract at the supermarket to use in a banana cream pie. Problem is, it smells like "cheap banana taffy," says FoodChic.

Is there good banana extract to be had? Not really, says scott123. "All banana extracts, regardless of the brand, smell/taste like cheap banana taffy," he says. "It's the nature of the beast. That's why very few home bakers bake with it." Jim Leff isn't prejudiced against great artificial flavors, but asserts that banana extract "is to bananas what Swanson's frozen Bar-B-Q dinner is to Arthur Bryant's ribs" (from How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Artificial Flavors).

If all banana extract sucks, how do you make banana cream pie? "If you want to kick up the banana flavor in your pie, I'd add some puréed over-ripe bananas to your finished, but still warm pudding," says scott123. "Over-ripe bananas give a lot of banana flavor, but, unlike the extract, don't taste artificial." coll recommends banana liqueur—especially Marie Brizard brand.

That said, there are rumors of good banana extracts existing. "I know there are very good extracts made for ice cream places that make their own ice cream, they are from France," says coll. "Don't know how you would get them on the street, though."

Discuss: Banana Extract Brands?

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