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