PananaMan, Elise Mosca to be featured on upcoming programs

Last updated: June 24. 2014 11:25PM - 4236 Views
By - tkellar@timesleader.com

Phil Delzeit of Luzerne with his food trailer The PananaMan to be feature on an upcoming Food Network special on food trucks.
Phil Delzeit of Luzerne with his food trailer The PananaMan to be feature on an upcoming Food Network special on food trucks.
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To learn more about the PananaMan and the panana, visit www.pananaman.com. The PananaMan can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PananaMan.

LUZERNE —Two Wyoming Valley residents will be featured on reality television shows — one on ABC-TV and the other on the Food Network.

• Phil Delzeit of Luzerne will join the ranks of Mario Batali, Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay when he makes his debut on the Food Network this fall.

Delzeit, 54, is the owner of the PananaMan and the creator of the Panana, a name coined by his 11-year-old daughter, Sara.

• Elise Mosca will appear on “Bachelor in Paradise” that debuts Aug. 4 on ABC-TV. According to the ABC News website, Mosca, 28, is listed as one of the cast members for the show. Several attempts to reach a spokesperson for the show were unsuccessful. Mosca took a leave of absence from her elementary teaching job in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District for all of the 2013-14 school year. She appeared on the “The Bachelor,” an ABC-TV show, and was rejected.

‘Carnival Eats’

Delzeit got the call from Food Network executives a few weeks ago, and was invited to appear on a new show called “Carnival Eats.” Hosted by Noah Cappe, the show will feature indulgent carnival treats.

His answer was not a surprising one.

“They asked me if I wanted to be on the Food Network, and how could you say no?” he said. “I watch it every night.”

A Panana is a peanut-butter and banana sandwich deep fried in funnel cake batter, topped with powdered sugar and served with a chocolate-raspberry dipping sauce. The sandwich comes in five flavors — crunchy peanut, strawberry jelly, grape jelly, marshmallow fluff and chocolate chip.

Delzeit got the idea for the sandwich while browsing Barnes & Noble. He found an Elvis Presley cookbook, and he saw a recipe for one of The King’s favorite snacks — a pan-fried peanut-butter and banana sandwich.

“I looked at it and a light bulb went off in my head,” Delzeit said.

He got the idea for a worthy drink to accompany the sandwich about a day later — an apple cider infused with cherry that makes it taste like a candy apple.

Food Network film crews caught up with Delzeit at the Northeast Fair in Pittston Township after he went through his routine to whip up fresh Pananas and candy apply cider.

It then became a tougher day at the office for Delzeit. He had to balance selling his delectable treats while being filmed, but he said most of the filming happened before the fair opened so he didn’t lose business.

“They even reimbursed me for everything I had to go out and buy,” Delzeit said.

Delzeit said the show is expected to debut in August or September. He called the experience an “awesome” one, and one that would benefit the business.

That could mean setting up shop at larger festivals and fairs.

“It’s endless possibilities,” Delzeit said. “Everyone will get to know a Panana, or at least get it in their head what a Panana is, and come try it.”

Reality for Mosca

In April, Mosca appeared at a Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs “Signings and Sightings — Meet Elise Mosca.”

Mosca rose to prominence when she was selected as a contestant on ABC TV’s “The Bachelor” reality program. She vied with 17 other woman to be chosen by soccer star Juan Pablo Galavis, but was booted off when Juan Pablo did not give her a rose at the end of the episode airing in January.

Her stardom sparked controversy, first when a racy video of her and other young women in lingerie was spotted on the Internet. It was titled “Yule Log Hotties.”

And questions also rose about how she was given an unpaid leave from her teaching job before heading for “The Bachelor” set.

The district contract allows unpaid leave for family or military persons, but Solicitor Ray Wendolowski said the board has been granting leave without asking for a reason so long it falls under “past practices.” That means failure to grant such a leave could lead to a union grievance regardless of contract language.

Mosca’s leave is over at the start of the 2014-15 school year and no further action has been taken regarding her teaching position.

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