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Savory banana chips exist! I may never go back to sweet ones

Savory banana chips exist! I may never go back to sweet ones

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  • Move over, original sweet banana chips! These barbecue-, sour cream-, and garlic-flavored variants are now my go-tos
banana chips savory flavor sour cream barbecue roasted garlic

Banana chips as far as I can remember have always been sweet. I recall seeing our neighbor sun dry thick-ish banana coins and then frying them along with a melted brown sugar coating. They are crisp little bites that shatter between your teeth and cover your tongue in a mellow nutty sugary taste afterward.

What I didn’t know until recently was that you can also make savory banana chips. They are after all but blank canvasses for practically any flavor your heart desires, it’s just that historically, bananas have always been prepared as a sort of “panghimagas” (dessert). Think turon, bananacue, and maruya. All sweet. Plus, we have all sorts of other crops for savory preparation. There’s kamote for one, which is also really great with its divine shatter that feels more solid than regular potato chips, and they also come in colors like purple, yellow, and even orange.

So imagine my glee when I chanced upon garlic-flavored banana chips on a flight to Camiguin on a now-defunct direct route from Manila.

[READ: Camiguin, a paradise of forgetting

“Naturally tasty, naturally crispy, naturally healthy,” is how Villa Socorro Farm describes its roasted garlic-flavored “Sabanana” banana chips. But that vague marketing effort aside, it was actually a satisfying treat, less because it was filling (it was only a 30 gram pack) but because, the banana chips felt like they had more heft and calories than regular chips. Add to that the fact that the chips are cut lengthwise for more surface area. 

According to its website, Villa Socorro Farm banana chips are “made from green bananas of the Philippine saba variety, which are washed, peeled, sliced, cooked, and packed all within 24 hours to offer thin, crunchy, and amazing banana chips.”

They also came in a smoky barbeque flavor.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in my suking supermarket though so a second helping that may aid in an objective “review” never materialized. But I know now that that said 30 gram pack costs P25 and that you can also get it in a 100 gram pack for P70.

Fast forward to a recent trip to Dumaguete. I was shopping for pasalubong before a return trip to Manila when I saw a bag of banana strings not unlike shoestring fries. At Merzci Pasalubong, they came in a 90 gram pack and a bigger package similar to a tennis ball canister only slimmer. Its banana strings were available in three flavors: cheese, sour cream, and barbeque.

Launched in 2019, Merzci says its banana strings are “made in Bacolod from freshly picked bananas.” Unlike Villa Socorro’s, its pieces are smaller, thus making it easy and quick to consume. A handful of these strings can be downed in an instant and it’s quite easy to “refill” and consume an entire pack in minutes.

I’ve also been told recently by a fellow chips girlie that a brand called Cravewell makes banana chips in savory, and not to mention, unconventional flavors: sriracha, tom yum, and Hickory barbecue. Trust that once I get my hands on these, I will be updating all you fellow chips girlies.

While I am still under the impression that roasted garlic is the superior savory banana chip flavor (I just love garlic!), it’s nice to know that there are other flavors and cuts out there that prove just how versatile a crop banana is.

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