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Summer in Beijing is hot, really hot, and it is quickly approaching. For a fat Asian American who grew up in New York City, the summer is a season of pain and moob sweats, and walking around in office clothes does not help. Thankfully a new ice cream sensation has swept over Beijing and much of China resulting, the consumption of the "笨(ben) Nana".

The BenNana, a play on the Chinese pronunciation of the word banana, has been selling like hot cakes. It's hard to pass by a school where there aren't children standing on the street trying peel the gelatin skin off the ice-sicle with their mouths. Of course this is a fairly stupid sight to behold and this goes back to the name, "笨(ben)" means stupid in Chinese.

Recently some reports were made by Chinese media about the BenNana being poisonous. All of the reports pointed to the unnatural fact that the BenNana, being an ice cream product, did not melt. Seeing the reports as possibly damning, Nestle the makers of the frozen treat, put out a press release explaining that it was the gelatin that did not melt and that it was natural for it not to.

The science and health warnings aside, the BenNana is actually quite simple: itIs a dairy flavored popsicle covered in an apple flavored gelatin that can be peeled off. You can eat it like a banana and peel off the skin or eat it all together the way you eat an ice cream. There are quite a few flavors of BenNana out there from apple to grape but there isn't an actual banana flavored one. Unfortunately for me, the 7-11 down the corner only had apple flavored.

Right out of the wrapper the BenNana's peel is already cut to make it easier to peel. Biting into the peel felt like biting into a piece of really sweet rubber, kind of like eating frozen jello.


Getting into the ice cream itself, I was thoroughly disappointed. After all the hard oral work getting the outer skin off, the ice cream turned out to be lackluster. Think of it as frozen watered down soft serve.

While the health concerns do concern me, for less than 50 cents a pop I think I will continue to buy BenNanas. I mean a grown man in a dress shirt walking around eating a children's ice cream product draws the eyes away from my marvelous moobs.