I grew up in a family where we didn’t eat a lot of sweets growing up. We weren’t deprived. It just wasn’t part of what we did, so I never realized I was supposed to want cookies, candy, cake, etc. We had it sometimes, it just wasn’t a big deal. Because of this, there are lots of common desserts I’ve never had or didn’t have until much later in life. Here’s a magical story about how I discovered banana cream pie. It had always sounded really gross to me. Banana pie? A pile of whipped cream? Ick. I wasn’t interested.
(Side story about whipped cream: I didn’t taste real whipped cream until I waitressed at an Italian cafe in high school that served it. Then, it wasn’t until my mid-20s that I discovered it was really easy to make fresh whipped cream yourself! A few weeks ago, I discovered Clover whipped cream in a can tastes just like homemade whipped cream! (Thank you Sarah T. for changing my life.))
I went to Tartine last year for the first time with a friend who was visiting SF. (She moved here recently and I’m pretty sure Tartine had a part in her decision). Everything we ate there was pretty good, above average, but not necessarily worth the wait or the price. My friend got the banana cream pie to go and home we went. For some reason, fate possibly, she left the pie in my fridge and flew back to Boston. Well, what’s a girl to do with a pie in her fridge? Try it, of course! Holy crap – this is not your ordinary banana cream pie. (I’ve since had “normal” banana cream pie and it’s not great.)
Tartine’s banana cream pie has a layer of caramel and chocolate on the bottom of a deliciously flaky crust, with both banana cream and chunks of banana, real whipped cream, and shavings of chocolate on top.
Ummm, hello? This is magic in your mouth, amazing banana cream pie! It’s a good thing Tartine is across the Bay, has insanely long lines, and is in a neighborhood that has no parking, or I’d be buying banana cream pies every day!