FoCo Joe: Banana Boats
14F is already underway, and with a new season comes a new flavor profile for all types of foods. The pumpkin spice latte is back, apples are very much in season and home-cooked comfort foods are making a comeback. Though we can very much see that 14X is long gone, I still refuse to accept that fall has truly begun. This week’s dessert is an homage to the straddling between seasons — it can be made at any time of the year and taste great. I call it a “banana boat,” inspired by an entirely different dessert from my study abroad experience in Buenos Aires, Argentina over 14S — the fall season in the Southern Hemisphere.
Toward the end of my time on the Spanish language study abroad in Buenos Aires, one of the host families invited all nine of us on the program to their home for an afternoon barbecue of sorts, what is known in Argentina as an “asado,” or grill. It is a huge ordeal requiring considerable effort and meant for bigger crowds, as nearly every part of the cow is cooked and consumed. The host family made a delicious dessert involving grilled bananas, dulce de leche (like caramel, but better), and rum. They cut open the bananas, still in their peels, filled them with dulce de leche and then drizzled rum on top. The real kicker — they used a handheld blowtorch to better incorporate the rum and dulce de leche into the gooey bananas. The process was a spectacle in itself. And let me tell you, it was so, so good.
FoCo of course does not have rum at hand, nor does it have dulce de leche (sadly). Nonetheless, these “banana boats” will certainly intrigue even the most curious of culinary explorers.
Step 1: Grab a banana from the fruits and cut it open length-wise. There should be just one slice down the middle of the banana, with the peel still on. Make the cut deep enough so that the true goodies will have room to cohabitate (see Step 2).
Step 2: Head over to the cookies and find the warmest, gooiest ones on the table. One cookie should do, but of course room can always be made for two. Mash them up and insert into the boats.
Step 3: By the soft-serve machine, drizzle some warm caramel sauce over the boats. The boats should not be sinking in caramel, but there should be enough caramel to complement the banana.
Step 4: If you’re feeling fancy, add some rainbow or chocolate sprinkles on top for appearance’s sake. Everything looks better with sprinkles, no?
Step 4: Enjoy! Grab a spoon and scoop out spoonfuls to your liking. Make sure to eat this dessert while the caramel and cookie are still hot. This dessert is so easy to share with friends too!