Monday, April 7, 2014

On Spanish Moss and Deep Fried Cheesecake

As we bowled along through northern Florida, this was a familiar sight. Avenues of live oaks draped with ethereal Spanish moss, a nasty parasite when seen close to but from a distance, cobwebby and magical.

You can see so much of the world in America. This splendid courthouse was in Inverness.

With a neat square and historical marker telling how Inverness became the county seat in 1891. The courthouse, built in 1912, apparently cost 55,885 dollars and just like every self-respecting Florida mansion, incorporated four architectural styles: Italian Renaissance, Neoclassical, Mission and Prairie School.

More Spanish moss draping a tree opposite.

And a sweet little cafe.

Which, so far as I know, does not serve banana cheesecake wrapped in a sugary tortilla and deep fried. Unlike the Mama Italia restaurant in Perry, where we stayed the night. I don't know what Mama had been tippling when she invented this. At first I couldn't even think of sampling it but somehow it stayed in my mind.

I decided it was one of those things you just have to try for its sheer outrageousness. It was probably the most decadent pudding I'd ever eaten and no, I do not regret it.

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