Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Case Study 45: "The Banana Frita"

I didn't think it would happen this fast, but it's here... 

Typically saved for mid-February or early March, the cold bleak big chill has hit me earlier than usual, and I want out.  Though it was Camus who said "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer," I like to think the heart of summer has always lived inside me, and it sounds like a little bossa nova.  

A child of the Graceland generation, and no stranger to an un-American sound, I fell in love with Brazilian music in early high school, where a local restaurant in my hometown also featured a side of bossa with the Friday night menu specials.  And so I ate it up, wetting my appetite with Getz and Gilberto, and making entrees out of Jobim and Caetano Veloso.  As I got older, my palate evolved and the music got sexier.  I danced past the old Mendes samba and into the next generation with João's daughter Bebel's own sort of nueva bossa nova and the remixed old Verve Records.  And through it all, I imagined it as it were, "tall and tan and young and lovely..." and my dreams grew larger than Corvocado: to caress the beach sand, to feel that light and careless sway, and most of all, to escape my little suburban town and taste it all firsthand.   

"The Banana Frita" is a banana cupcake topped with a sweeten condensed milk buttercream and crowned with a cinnamon sugar fried banana slice.  It's smooth and creamy, and sweet and dreamy, all like my bons sohnos of a delicious beachside shimmy against the darkness of this bitter January eve.  

Even if you can't head south, the power of imagination lies in its ability to spice things up. So shut the doors, turn up the heat, and do a little kitchen samba. You might hear those Ipanema waves rolling closer than you think...

(Pssst. Want an instant beachside feel? Pop over to Pandora.com and hit the Bebel Gilberto radio station.  Que bonito!)

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