My son and I were at Kroger, finishing up a small grocery list. We were both eager to get out of that depressing shithole, when something caught my eye: bread. Well, specifically, bread in a large plastic clamshell case. (Oh, I’m sorry: These are technically known as “loaf cakes”, and not “bread” for some reason.) That immediately brought two things to mind: That’s the packaging most banana breads are in, and the fact that we were out of it.
I’m not sure if you guys are aware of this, but Aldi’s banana bread is a constant staple in our house. My son and I tear through it, generally polishing off the 8-slice package within two days. And we could easily go through it quicker were it not for sheer willpower. It’s fantastic, addicting, and clearly something I enjoy mentioning every chance I get.
But enough about that, because it has nothing to do with anything. The point is, I didn’t see any banana bread. But I did see another delicious item from my past: iced cinnamon loaf cake. My mom used to make the boxed kind of cinnamon streusel for me back when I was a young’n still living under her roof (that was twenty years ago…sigh).
Here we have Kroger’s “fresh” take on the same thing.
This bread isn’t quite as moist as other cakes, but I think that’s just a side effect of cinnamon. It seems to sop up moisture rather than adding to it. It also tastes the way one would expect cinnamon to taste: Not too sweet, and with a slight spicy kick that gently hits the tongue. It would be pretty good on its own, but here, we get the added benefit of vanilla icing!
One odd thing I’ve noticed: It’s sad how few “loaf cakes” have icing; it’s usually just the boring, plain cake. And who in the hell wants that? Especially when the price is generally the same whether there’s icing or not. The problem is, getting the right frosting combination of flavor and texture down doesn’t seem to be easy for mass-produced brands. Often, it will end up being too sweet, or too thin, or too thick, or just plain gross. I must say this is one of the few things Kroger gets right (unlike the experience of actually setting foot in one). The vanilla icing is rather perfect, with a consistency that’s neither runny, nor too thick. There’s no crunch; it just starts melting in the mouth immediately.
However, for all the near-perfection, there are two problems: The first one is the price. Coming in at $4.99, it’s not the worst deal in “things placed in plastic clamshells to insinuate they’re baked in store”, but it’s also not the best.
Slightly adding to this issue: There are only eight slices! Why? Ten slices would be a perfect, round number. It’s not like adding two slices would last us longer than another day, but it’s the principle of it. Walmart seems to be the only company that gets that; unfortunately, their 10-piece banana nut bread loaf is a piece of shit. I’m about to start a petition on care.org, or petition.net, or whatever to make ten slices the standard loaf size.
Minor quibbles aside, this is highly recommended, and one of the few things Kroger doesn’t fail at (like the experience of shopping in their shit stores).
Overall: 9/10. A fantastic bread. The price ($4.99) isn’t bad, but also isn’t great; it’s in line with other brands and nothing to write home about. There are also only 8 slices per package…why not 10? Outside of these two quibbles, though, we get a pretty moist marbled cake, with a delicious cinnamon topping. Finishing it all off is a layer of delectably soft vanilla icing. It’s pretty sweet, but considering the cake itself is not, it’s a winning combination. Highly recommended.