Koreans love banana milk, a phenomenon little known outside of the peninsula. K-pop sensation Girls Generation drink it, kids drink it, adults drink it, and of course, Marja is also a fan. Her favorite drink while filming Kimchi Chronicles was this kid-friendly and delicious beverage. It’s so popular that there’s even a Facebook group dedicated to it, where people enthusiastically confess their love for the sunshine yellow milk. Traditionally, its drunk right after hitting the sauna, a popular Korean past time.
It’s undoubtedly delicious, but as avid banana milk consumers, we thought we should dig a little deeper and learn more about Korea’s most nostalgic drink. It’s distinctive shape is actually based off of a Korean traditional jar called a hangari, a large earthenware container used to store food. When banana milk was first being produced, it was a time when Koreans were beginning to leave their farms to find work in the city. The drink’s shape was meant to conjure up thoughts of home, and the countryside. The banana flavor was chosen because at the time, bananas were an incredibly exotic and appealing fruit.
Who knew that banana milk had such a long and storied history? Koreans love their healthy drinks, and banana milk’s no exception. Banana milk sells more than $100 million a year, and it’s the top selling product in convenience stores. So why are we not gifted with this banana goodness in our local grocery stores? Nesquik’s banana milk doesn’t quite do it justice, and we wish that there were a suitable American version of this liquid treat. Luckily, Hmart‘s got us covered, so here’s to stocking up asap!