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Banana Bread Is Quarantine’s Unlikely Hero

The unspoken hero of this quarantined time is the humble oven. Since most of the world went into hiding, people have taken solace in one of the few acts that is productive, comforting, and time consuming: baking banana bread.

Cookies, brownies, muffins, all have been given shine on social media these past couple weeks. But, nothing has made the rounds more than banana bread. Not a day has gone by in the last week in which a load didn’t touch down on my timeline. 

The phenom even made its way to the cream of the crop of Twitter, with Chrissy Tiegen taking to the platform to offer a loaf of her famous banana bread in exchange for romaine lettuce, which she eventually found.

We decided to join in on the hype, and started with the very bread seen in Tiegen’s exchange, which can be found in her recipe book, Cravings. Check out the video above to see the process and our delicious results.

Now, I wasn’t satisfied with just the bread, I wanted answers. Why on Earth has banana bread taken ahold of our collective mind as we all sit, bored as hell, in our homes?

I sent up a signal. I posted on my Instagram story, asking people to DM me if they’ve made banana bread while pent up. To those who DM’d me, I simply asked, “Why?”

I expected to be able to make this into a quick, heartwarming story with the responses, one that hopefully alluded to banana bread being a childhood favorite to many that, in turn, is providing comfort in a time of need. And while some responses did support this theory, I overwhelmingly received two specific sentiments:

“I saw it on TikTok/YouTube,” and “I had rotten bananas.” 

After digging around a little, I found multiple TikTok’s showing recipes for banana bread, some with hundreds of thousands of views, while some in with millions. 

Also, apparently, a lot of people panic bought bananas. And, no one actually ever remembers that they bought them, so there were a lot of rotting bananas out in the world.

The trend seems to have been borne out of virality and necessity, as is everything in this day and age. Hell, most of my meals in the past few days can be sourced from the same ideals, too. 

And it seems like for the next few weeks that frame of mind will dominate the kitchen. People will continue baking, using whatever they have in their kitchen. Maybe keeping something from exploding in the oven will distract from the world seemingly exploding around us, who knows. 

But, hey, until it does, keep making that scrumptious banana bread.