In our society's current emphasis on health and nutrition, it's pretty much become expected that recipes offered in books, magazines, newspapers, online, on TV and radio, and in cooking classes be both tasty and healthy. Healthfulness in particular has taken center stage due to frequent media reports of the nation's obesity, diabetes, and heart attack rates.
Even the queen of high cholesterol cooking, Paula Deen, due to her personal health concerns, has decided to cook and eat with more restraint. Would that she might exercise that same restraint in other aspects of her life as well, as she now unfortunately has much bigger fish to fry, er, sautee. But it just seems that with regards to cooking, everyone lately is so single-mindedly focused on health, often at the expense of taste. But enough about the cardboard-tasting cookies at my local health food store.
It was therefore ever so refreshing to find, in the Los Angeles Times' Saturday section of July 6, the recipe for Banana Cream Cheese Buñuelos, requested by reader Lilliana Aleman from the Harborside Restaurant in Newport Beach. Both the Times and the Harborside were happy to oblige. And lucky for us readers! Writer Noelle Carter describes the dessert as "sinfully good" and "so good you almost felt wrong eating it in public." She then vividly describes the treat as, "Thin flour tortillas stuffed with rich cream cheese and bananas, then deep-fried, coated with cinnamon sugar and served with whipped cream and ice cream under a drizzle of warm caramel. " Yum! Munch on that image, all you deprived dieters out there!
Unsurprisingly, if you were expecting something this scrumptious to also be unhealthy, you'd be right! Why, simply feast your eyes on the Banana Cream Cheese Buñuelos' nutritional chart published following the recipe:
EACH SERVING CONTAINS
Protein: 19 grams
Carbohydrates: 187 grams
Fiber: 4 grams
Fat: 110 grams
Saturated fat: 57 grams
Cholesterol: 341 mg
Sugar: 134 grams
Sodium: 942 mg
Yikes! Yes, the nutritional content of the adorable, scrumptious little Buñuelos is a veritable dietary Armageddon, guaranteed to contribute to the nation's obesity, diabetes, and heart attack rates. So, I say bravo to the brave and iconoclastic Harborside Restaurant, the Los Angeles Times, and Lilliana Aleman for their willingness to stand up to all the health nuts, kill-joy dietary researchers and those of us who simply want to avoid future quadruple bypass operations. For if nothing else, America is about freedom, independence and choice, and these brave souls have given us taste-craving Americans the freedom to be independent of so-called dietary "wisdom." They have allowed us to choose to consume a dessert item the same way we should rightfully be eating every blessed one of our meals -- as though it were our last. And not only to consume it for a one-time occasion at a restaurant, but to have the actual recipe to keep and cherish forever so we can enjoy it whenever and as often as we please. God bless America.
But really, fellow readers, why stop there? As long as we're going to say health and common sense be damned, why not extend that refreshing attitude, in our media, to other aspects of life?
Independence Day just passed, but for next year's celebration, why not publish in the Times a survey of available firecrackers, where to get them, how to set them off, perhaps some party games involving them? Are they illegal? Mostly. Do folks get blinded and have their fingers blown off by them? Every year. But why focus on the negative? How about all the people who use them responsibly, out of the sight of the law, and never get injured? See what I mean? Let's start having some fun rather than kowtowing to the overprotective nay-sayers.
Summer's here. Remember when we used to be able to simply walk outside and enjoy the glory of Mother Nature, the wonders of Summer? Not anymore. These days, the Gloomy Gus scientists are throwing their power around and deriving great delight warning us of the dangers of being outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun is at its brightest and can do the most damage. They warn us to slather ourselves with a golf ball size amount of SPF 3,000 sunscreen, cover ourselves with long clothing, wear a hat, stay hydrated, avoid over-exertion, and keep cool so our faces don't end up looking like old leather chairs. Hey, why don't I just put on my burka and hang out in my underground bunker until night? Forget that! L.A. Times, just keep publishing your lists of the best beaches, minus any annoying health warnings, and we'll take it from there. Hey, throw in a review of the trendiest tanning salons while you're at it. Cancer-shmancer.
And, of course, by all means, provide a forum for the likes of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden's ongoing released information. Could any of it be used by our enemies and terrorists and become a matter of compromised national security? Oh, I guess. But do we really want to stop that at the expense of our cherished freedom, independence and choice? Au contraire! That would be a slap in the face to our Founding Fathers!
So, I say print anything, anytime, provided by anyone -- health, security and common sense be damned. For crying out loud, it's a public service! We're smart enough to worry about our own health and security. Get the media out of our business and we won't mettle in theirs. Now, if you'll excuse me, there are 57 grams of saturated fat with my name on them and they're not getting any fresher. I'm heading out the door straight into the 2 p.m. sunlight, without sunscreen, reading about Mr. Snowden's newest released information while munching on a Buñuelo. So there! Bon apetit!