April 25, 2007

The $74 banana split

$74 banana split$74 banana split

Even though I've been in Honduras for almost 6 years now, it took me a long time to think in Honduran Lempiras. Every now and then a Lempira price still pops out at me. This sign in particular caught my attention because the prices on one side of the menu have dollar signs in front of them.

Now that will catch your attention: $74 for a banana split.

This Baskin-Robbins/Dunkin Donuts shop opened recently in La Ceiba. It is vastly popular, especially the donuts. The ice cream prices seem very high to me considering the size of the scoops they serve here − very, very small.

I'll convert some of the prices to U.S. dollars and maybe some of you can tell me how that compares with U.S. Baskin-Robbins prices:

  • Brownie Sundae $3.33
  • Banana Split $3.92
  • One scoop cone $1.90
  • Pint $4.50
  • Quart $7.67
  • Gallon $13.50

The prices are definitely much higher than Honduran ice cream prices, but then Honduran helado (ice cream) is not really ice cream, since it rarely contains any cream at all. Like so many things, price is considered more important than quality and there isn't even the option to pay more for a better quality ice cream, at least here in La Ceiba.

The best Honduran brands could only be marketed as ice milk in the U.S., and most would fall into the "mellorine" category since they are made with non-fat powdered milk and thickened with vegetable fat. The number one ingredient on some labels is water.

I'll bet that most Hondurans would be amazed to know that the U.S. even has ice cream consumer protection laws.

We usually make our own ice cream. When we were in the U.S., Ben and Jerry's ice cream was, of course, our favorite. (New York Fudge Chunk! Heath Bar! Chubby Hubby! Cherry Garcia! I still remember them. Yay!) We also liked Starbucks ice cream − wow, that ice cream will give you a real caffeine jolt!

Neither one of those brands are sold in La Ceiba, but it is just as well because when we do buy ice cream, it often has been melted and refrozen and is all icy − not acceptable for an ice cream connoisseur like me.

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