I love cheese. Seriously, I’m a big fan, it’s one of the main reasons I don’t have one of those svelt, uber-bodies that you see on television (one of the reasons – there are others, like weaknesses for butter, paté, wine, beer and aversion to exercise). But anyway, please know that I love cheese. And I miss cheese from England – real Cheddar, Stilton, Blue Wensleydale, Stinking Bishop… drool.
But however much I love the cheeses of my home country, I would never say that England has “the best cheeses in the world”. Because there are cheeses from other countries (mostly France) that are equally great: Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, Comté, Emmental, Ossau-lraty… Oh man!
|A holiday in France a few years ago allowed me to fully indulge my cheese-greed.|
OK, so I should get to the point before I suffer any more from saudade de queijo de verdade. My point is that although I think English cheeses are amazing, I wouldn’t say they are world’s greatest. However, I would like to bestow that honour upon something Brazilian. The bananas. Now maybe this is a sweeping statement given that I have not eaten bananas from every country in the world. But what the hell, I’ll keep saying it until I taste a better banana from somewhere else.
Take a look at the bananas picked up from a stall on my way home last night:
|I’ve got a luvver-ly bunch of bananas…|
These cost me 3 Reais, equivalent to $1.60 or £1.03. All those bananas (there are 12). To be honest, I’m not sure if that is much better value than other places (I haven’t checked out global banana prices recently – it’s on my list of things to do), but it strikes me as great value for money. Especially when you take into account that these bananas taste amazing.
They are sweet with a slight acid bite – a bit appley almost. And the texture is almost creamy – none of that floury, grainy feel I remember from bananas in England. I do remember having appley bananas in Ghana and they were very good. But in my opinion the bananas here in Brazil are even better.
A word of warning – make sure you get the right kind of banana. Banana buying here is kind of complicated. Banana de Terra (Banana of the Earth = plantain) is a savoury banana that needs to be cooked – take a raw bite out of one of these and you’ll be disappointed to say the least!
|Banana da Terra – just waiting to ruin your day.|
And it doesn’t end there, there are also: Banana Prata (Silver Banana), Banana Ouro (Golden Banana), Banana Maçã (Apple Banana) and Banana d’água (Water Banana). I’ll fess up here, I’ve got no idea what the difference is between these bananas so it does make banana buying a bit of a lottery for me. Any bananexperts out there who can help me out?