I have not seen Banana Split Oreos on the shelves for a number of years now, but they will always have a special place in my heart. I believe that it was my passionate advocacy for this product, which first appeared on the shelves in 2008, that really cemented my identity as a dedicated pusher of questionable packaged food.
This was a true Limited Edition flavor, available only fleetingly before vanishing into the night, leaving me bereft, wishing I had built an end-of-days stockpile in my basement. It has, however, appeared on two separate occasions, separated by a period of years, giving me perennial hope of its reappearance. Alas, the last time I spotted the-one-that-got-away was, I believe, in 2013.
I will begin by confessing that I am a total sucker for banana - or even better, banana split- flavored anything. Remember Runts candies? I used to separate out the little crescent-moon banana ones to savor last. Banana Split Dippin Dots? One of my most cherished high school taste memories, and a favorite to this day.
The other thing I love about the Banana Split Oreo is the truly unique construction. As opposed to most novelty Oreos, this is not just a rendition in which "insert-flavor-here" is merely the additive to the creme filling. Oh no - this is an immersive experience, a study in contrasts, that rare Oreo that absolutely MUST be eaten all altogether, and not peeled apart and eaten as component parts.
This beautiful and rarefied creature features overlapping layers of pale yellow banana creme and bright pink strawberry creme, laid on top of one golden Oreo wafer, and topped with one chocolate Oreo wafer. And yes, if you sample each component, you will find the flavor is true to the color - the yellow is banana, the pink is strawberry - this is not a cheap optical illusion to cover up a single blended flavor. So, voila: taken altogether, this is the complete banana split experience. You have your vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and banana. The only thing missing is the maraschino cherry on top! (Although on that note, look closely at the package - why is the banana split depicted there crowned with a single slice of strawberry instead? To avoid false marketing?)
Whoever was responsible for this delicious and beautiful Frankenstein of components should get more assignments, because this was one Oreo flavor that outdid itself on creativity. Many of the newer flavors have really been phoning it in, so they could learn a lot from this early entry into their own novelty niche, a high-water mark that has never yet been equaled.