It’s no surprise I have a sweet tooth. And in NYC — home to some of the weirdest combos, movie-famous treats, and gluttonous-looking desserts — there’s seriously a never-ending list of sweets to choose from. Among my favorite? Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding.
Their banana pudding got most famous (I think) via Sex and the City. Per Erin (my roommate), apparently Magnolia was featured on a single episode, with two of the characters eating outside on a makeshift bench. “Wait, a single episode?” I asked. “Yup. That’s how influential it was!” She told me. Isn’t that bonkers?!
Anyway, Magnolia’s original claim to fame may have been their cupcakes (their cake is also deliciously fluffy and tasty and magical), but they stole my heart with their banana pudding. The OG is straight banana pudding and seriously, if you ask anyone who’s lived in the city for at least a year, I promise they’ve had it and love it. It’s like a rite of passage. (A coworker brought some in for a holiday potluck the other year and everyone went C-R-A-Z-Y. Shit’s mad expensive, yo.) More recently they launched chocolate banana pudding which, while pretty good, doesn’t quite hold a candle to the original IMO.
Then, this summer, they introduced something new — another twist. Each month (June, July, August, September) they planned to release a new flavor. June was funfetti, July was magic, August was s’mores, and September was salted caramel.
On Monday, I went with Valerie and my friend Sara to try out September’s flavor. The famous Magnolia’s is downtown, but there’s another location nestled in the Bloomingdales on Lexington, which is basically across the street from my office. It’s basically rude not to go. Plus, salted caramel sounded promising (unlike magic, which was coconut flavored and I refused to try). I was skeptical though — I had high hopes for s’mores, which ended up being a weird, unblended bowl of s’mores materials that didn’t actually gel well.
Verdict? Fine. Lackluster. Uninspiring. I wouldn’t go so far as to say disappointing… but it wasn’t what I was hoping for. As this summer of Magz chaos comes to a close, I have learned something though: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Sometimes the original is the best for a reason!!