Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
June 26, 2022

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Banana plays into the decadence of popular dessert-style pancakes, and their year-round availability make it a reliable go-to ingredient. Nuances within banana varieties provide menu developers with a bevy of pancake enhancing options, leveraging playful characteristics of shapes, textures and flavors to create differentiating looks and subtle flavor changes.

Banana Varieties

  1. The mainstream Cavendish Banana, with its long cylindrical curved shape, creamy texture and classic banana flavor, works well griddled in the batter, as a fresh-sliced topping, or turned into sauce, pudding or custard.
  2. The similar yet shorter, thicker and blockier Saba Banana, with its starchy texture and sweet potato-like taste and rich flavor, works well roasted or caramelized.
  3. The short, cigar-shaped Lady Finger Banana, with its creamy texture and sweeter taste, adds visual impact when sliced lengthwise and glazed.
  4. The Red Banana, with its smaller plump size, intriguing cream color with pinkish tinge, sweetness and slight berry taste, works nicely as a fresh-sliced or caramelized topping.

Each variety crafts a delightful pancake flavor story.

Here are six fun ways to flavor and enhance pancakes with fresh banana.


  1. Southern Puddin’ Stacker: Buttermilk pancakes (studded with crushed Nilla Wafers and smashed Cavendish banana) + banana pudding/custard (filling between two pancakes) + whipped cream
  2. Amore Pancakes: Banana “milk” ricotta pancakes + powdered sugar + hot honey-glazed lady finger bananas (split lengthwise) + whipped butter
  3. Sweety Pancakes: Spiced sweet potato pancakes + cinnamon brown sugar-roasted saba banana slices + maple syrup
  4. Cereal Pancakes: Whole-grain pancakes (with green banana flour) + cereal milk anglaise + brûléed red banana halves + housemade granola topper
  5. Peanut Butter Banana Muffin Pancakes: Peanut butter (peanut butter powder, peanut butter chips) buttermilk pancakes + chunky bananas Foster sauce + streusel topper
  6. King Kong Pancakes: Chocolate pancakes (dark cocoa powder, mini chocolate chips) + whipped banana cream cheese + sliced fresh red banana + coconut shavings + dark chocolate shavings



Banana Bacon French Toast

Smithfield Culinary

Sweet and savory hit pitch perfect breakfast notes in this Banana Bacon French Toast, thanks to bananas sautéed in butter and maple syrup mingling with crisp applewood bacon.

Banana Bacon French Toast

About The Author

Rob Corliss

Rob Corliss is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu.