What exactly is Banana Manju?
A while ago, I noticed a few online searchers came to my blog article on Tokyo souvenirs by searching on google by the keyword “Banana Manju”.
Of course, I know what banana and Manju are, but until I found the search query, I had never heard of the Japanese confection “Banana Manju (バナナ饅頭)”.
According to Google, as of today (February 23, 2020), the average google search ranking of my post on Tokyo souvenirs indicated above for the query “Banana Manju” is 8.1.
Tokyo Banana Sponge Cake
However, that article doesn’t correctly state what Banana Manju is. Instead, it includes a paragraph concerning the sweet treat Tokyo Banana.
I was wondering why, so looked up “バナナ饅頭 (Banana Manju)” on Wikipedia Japan and found out that the popular Tokyo sweet “Tokyo Banana (東京ばな奈)” is very similar to the original Banana Manju.
So what exactly is Banana Manju?
Banana Manju (バナナ饅頭)
Image: Wikipedia バナナ饅頭
According to the article “バナナ饅頭” on Japanese Wikipedia, Banana Manju is originally a confection originating in Ikeda Town, Hokkaido, where a food company “Yonekura Shoten (米倉商店)” first created it in 1905.
The original Banana Manju cake shown above is made from wheat flour and hen’s egg, flavored with banana essence and filled with sweetened white bean paste.
In the early 1900s, in Japan, bananas were very expensive and difficult to obtain for the common people, so the Yonekura Shoten invented its Banana Manju using banana essence to enable them to easily enjoy the taste of bananas.