A few weeks back, Vernon’s Vietnamese teacher Hanh hooked us up with a couple of Bánh Tét Chuối because she’s super-sweet and knows how much we love trying new foods. Even though it was meant for the both of us, I was the sole benefactor of the gift because The Astronomer doesn’t do bananas, something about the texture and taste rubbing him in all sorts of wrong ways. He doesn’t know what he’s missing out on.
Whereas regular Bánh Tét are filled with savory mung beans, pork and pork fat, these not so distant cousins contain finger bananas. No extra sugar is added, so the singular caramelized banana brings the bulk of the flavor. The most interesting aspect of Bánh Tét Chuối is how the steaming process turns the banana a deep magenta. I’m no chemist, but I’d say that’s a result of a chemical reaction!
Vendors selling Bánh Tét Chuối usually ride around town on bikes with the goods hanging from their handlebars. Expect to pay 2,000 – 4,000 VND for one, depending on the size.