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May 4, 2021

Outside of cooking, baking, baklava, and traveling, I have another passion that I discovered back in 2006—Argentine Tango. Well, when I discovered it can be a bit of a debate because I actually saw Argentine tango for the first time in 1999 while I was pregnant with my son and on bed rest (read more about that here on my Reinventing Rita blog). I wasn’t allowed to move from the bed for almost my whole first trimester so I read a lot of books and watched a lot of television. One day I stumbled across a movie called The Tango Lesson and I was so intrigued…partly because I loved the music but mainly because I craved the freedom to move the way the dancers glided around the dance floor. The dialogue was spoken in three languages: English, Spanish, and French. And it was shot in Paris, Buenos Aires, and London. It was partially filmed in color while some scenes were in black and white. I loved the movie, but most of all I loved the dancing.

Fast forward to 2006. It was two years after my divorce, and I was open to trying new things. A friend invited me to what she was calling a “milonga,” which I later found out was a tango dance party. I recalled the movie I had seen so many years before. When I heard the music, I immediately fell back in love. Two months later, I was on a plane to Buenos Aires and there began my love affair with Argentine tango. Since then, whenever I’ve been able, I travel to various tango festivals around the country. Once while at a festival in Portland Oregon, I visited a place called Voodoo Doughnut where I tasted the most yummy Maple Bacon doughnut ever. I had heard about this unconventional way of enjoying bacon and felt this Maple Bacon craze was overrated…that is until I tasted that doughnut.

I came home with the idea to invent my own Maple Bacon Baklava creation, and after a few iterations this is what I’ve come up with. I hope you enjoy it! I personally LOVE to eat this flavor of baklava for breakfast or brunch. I love to enjoy it with my morning coffee, a bowl of in-season fruit (my favorite is fresh peaches), and of course with a couple of warm scrambled eggs. I’m telling you THIS is the way to start your morning, people!

So there you have it…two of my passions (baking and tango) collide and the result is one of my favorite baklava flavors yet: Maple Bacon Walnut. The sweetness from the honey and maple flavoring paired with the salty, meaty bacon gives this baklava a rare savory/sweet combo that is like no other baklava you’ve ever had. My favorite part of this story is how my passion for tango led me to this new flavor.

Enjoy your treat this month my baklava family, and do let me know how your passions have intertwined in your life creating new and interesting twists and turns. Until next month!

—Peace, Love, & Baklava Forever,

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