Things I don’t associate with when thinking about winter: beach balls, Corona Light, blockbuster films, daylight until 9 PM, and…banana flavored cookies. Despite the super odd January release date, Pepperidge Farm have chosen the middle of the hypothetical icy tundra to unleash their limited edition Banana Chocolate Milano, so you can get a taste of the tropics while shivering in your mittens.
Opening up the signature tall paper bag I am immediately smacked in the face with that unmistakable artificial banana aroma that will have yellow Runts and Laffy Taffy fans squirming with joy in their long johns. Just barely coming through beneath the banana is the classic Milano semi-sweet chocolate that rounds out the smell of this tropical treat.
The bite mimics the smell in that it starts with a strong banana candy flavor that smooths out and finishes with clean semi-sweet dark chocolate. The crumbly pale cookie is a lovely middle ground between soft and hard, with no notable sugar or shortbread taste. The Milano in general is fairly dry, but the inclusion of banana makes it feel a bit more moist and bright. I’ve gotta give Pepperidge Farm credit for putting out a different flavor than what is expected, and overall the flavors deliver on what the description promises. While the banana flavor is definitely rooted in candy, the cookie as a whole isn’t too sweet and shouldn’t be a turn off unless you hate banana flavor, which I’m sure many people do.
My issue with these cookies is the same one I’ve always had with standard Milano – there simply isn’t enough filling. While the regular Milk Chocolate Milano is fine but pretty basic, the Double Chocolate version is awesome, with extra snap and deep cocoa flavor that allows the outer cookie to be plain but successful. The other flavored Milano I’ve had – orange, mint, and raspberry, are better than the milk chocolate because of the added layer of flavor, and these are no exception, but I still wanted more. Perhaps 25% more banana or a touch more chocolate could have taken these to the next level, but as it stands they still need a little more pop to compete with the best.