Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Every so often, I’ll attempt a different version of a recipe I have already found my preferred version of. It may not be the perfect version, but it fits my own likings of that particular food just right. There is that curiosity, though: how does that one taste? We all have our preferences, and can get stuck thinking that a particular way of preparing things is the only way to do it right.

When I first travelled to France for two weeks with my mom, I came upon a rather unpleasant surprise (at least at the time) – Chinese fast food in France is waaaaaay different from in the US. It has a different flavor, it’s prepared differently, and it’s kept differently (in a much better way, to be sure – they don’t have hot plates that overcook the food to nothingness – they prepare it, set it out in covered dishes, and when people order it they can just pop it into the microwave either there or at home). At the time, it was toward the end of our trip and we were looking for a little different fare – perhaps something less rich? I’m not quite certain what brought us there. I remember it was somewhere just on the left bank, near all of the little tourist traps. There were a number of little hole in the wall restaurants, but we chose Chinese take-out. Probably because it was late and it was take-out-able.

At any rate, it didn’t taste bad or anything, just different – and I admit I didn’t terribly like it at the time. I also warned my school mates away from that type of thing when I spent a quarter abroad, and I didn’t brave the experience again. But I have come to realize that I most likely did a disservice to myself in not branching out from “traditional” French food on my second trip – who knows what I might have discovered?

Thus I have been trying to be brave and expand my expectations and experiences in trying to make different renditions of recipes I have come to have certain expectations of. Banana bread is one of them. I have a paper copy of a recipe that I love to pieces, and it has all kind of food stains and sugar and whatnot on it, but it’s still in my recipe binder-thinger as a go-to version. On Pinterest one can find almost as many versions of a recipe as on AllRecipes, and I found one from a blogger whose recipes I have tried before and found to be perfectly serviceable. This recipe is similar – serviceable, has a decent flavor, but I still like my go-to a bit more.

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