If I were to have a gimmick podcast/Twitter account/website, I think it would be to write a new review about Aldi’s banana bread every single day, as if I was trying it for the first time. Now, to be clear, I would never actually do that, but that’s just how much I like it. It’s a little too generous with fake banana flavor, but I happen to enjoy that. The texture is also fantastic, with a moistness that’s missing from a good chunk of mass-produced bread products. I could eat an entire loaf in just one sitting, but have to resist that urge because my son likes it just as much as I do.
I (and we) have tried several other brands, from several other stores. We’ve even tried a couple more expensive name brands, but nothing has ever come close to matching that heavenly combination.
And yet, I keep trying.
I had actually tried a private label version from Walmart previously, and was taken aback by how godawful it was. Released under their idiotically-named “Freshness Guaranteed” label, I reveled in just how NOTAldi’s banana bread it was. It was dry, it just smelled processed, and it tasted like it was made out of banana aromatherapy oils, if those were a thing. But even beyond that, and the most telling statement I could make, is that it would have been horrible even if I had never had Aldi’s version. Yes, my dear readers, “disappointment” didn’t even come close to accurately summarizing it.
And yet, here I was, staring down a similar package from the Marketside brand, which is yet another Walmart private label. I had never tried this version before, and while the lingering remnants of their previous failed attempt lingered in the back of my mind, I just had to grab it. Even if I was certain this was the same repackaged grossness that nearly scarred me for life, I just couldn’t walk away from it. I take my responsibility as a part-time reviewer of food products rather seriously, and felt I owed it to the public to boldly go where no one should go.
Well, dear readers, to summarize the experience in modern slang: This shit is fire which, for the elderly, roughly translates to: “This stuff is very, very, very good.” It’s a far cry from Walmart’s previous piddly attempt, which sent pings of regret through every fiber of my being, that only got stronger and stronger with each passing bite. No, this is something different, something special…and something that gives Aldi’s version a run for its money.
This is moist, flavorful, and just…fantastic. It’s the kind of bread that doesn’t need additional accouterments, such as butter, to be palatable. There’s that perfect, familiar texture, with the top “crust” bursting with banana goodness. There’s the cake itself, with its perfect moistness that virtually demands another bite. It’s something that every good food product should be: hard to put down. I could easily down the entire loaf in one sitting, and that’s something I can say for only one other mass-produced brand of banana bread.
There are only a couple drawbacks: The banana flavor seems to be dialed back a bit, which will be great for people like my wife, who aren’t into that sort of thing, but is kind of disappointing for fans of semi-artificial banana flavor, like me. And the price: It’s about a dollar more than Aldi’s version, coming in at $4.48. It also loses the only positive from the “Freshness Guaranteed” version, by cutting the loaf size down from 10, to the industry standard 8. (Why?!?!)
But these are just minor issues. When all is said and done, I won’t hesitate to grab this again. Many times. Starting in the very near future.
Overall: 8.5/10. This is a fantastic loaf at a reasonable price. It’s not quite as good as Aldi’s banana walnut cake loaves, and it’s a few quarters more, but the texture and flavor are top-notch. At least as far as mass-produced supermarket breads go. It’s also loads better than Walmart’s previously feeble attempt, released under the horribly-named “Freshness Guaranteed” label. Honestly, our local Aldi is in the same strip as Walmart, and this is so similar, it’s not even worth jumping over there to get it. Not only would I not hesitate to get this again, I can actually see it happening many times in the near future.