Friday, January 06, 2006

My muffins

I have a confession: I’m still not over Boston.

I know I said I wanted to finally get out of New England but I miss it – the restaurants, the ocean, the snow and slush of a real winter and, of course, dear friends. But I am – slowly – getting used to life in the District; beginning, predictably, with the neighborhood that surrounds my office (or, as I like to call it, my home-away-from-home) – Dupont Circle.

Here’s another confession: I’ve become addicted to
Marvelous Market’s marvelous chocolate chip muffins.

As soon as the clock moves to the PM my mind drifts to chocolate – specifically this chocolate chip muffin (the images of dancing muffins are sometimes accompanied by more banal thoughts of chocolate caffeine – or “mocha” as Starbucks calls it.) And so begins the debate – to muffin or not to muffin.

Eight times out of ten the “pro-muffin” side triumphs and off I go, either around the Circle (Dupont, that is) or across, depending on the angle of my squint on that day (some days the circumference seems shorter; other days a walk past the fountain does).

As the cashier noted while ringing up my already half-eaten muffin this evening, “at least they’re not brownies.” True, but neither are they healthful, stick-to-the-ribs hearty bran-oat or blueberry wheat-germ muffins. My babies should rightfully be called cupcakes, because, friends, that is what they are. A light and moist chocolate batter studded with chocolate chips, poured baked to near-perfectness is cake, not a muffin no matter what the shape is.

Issues of nomenclature (and its enabling capacity: who can really justify eating a ‘cupcake’ two-three times per week) aside, I have come to fear that others in the neighborhood have discovered my secret. Several recent trips – all late in the afternoon – have found me standing forlornly before a baked-goods shelf already emptied of chocolate-y goodness. The other muffin options – while generally satisfying – simply do not compete (and how could blueberries and apple really be expected to?).

So what now?

Pragmatically, I should probably take the empty shelves as an unspoken endorsement of my renewed pledge of healthy eating.

Or I could branch out.

I bet their chocolate croissants are pretty marvelous too.


  1. Hill, next time you're in NYC remind me to take you to this great bakery in K-town where they make delicious chocolate croissants. We'll have to go in the morning though, as they usually sell out by the afternoon. I think they only make about half a dozen a day. I have question though, if they know those are the only things that consistently sell out, why can't they just make more?!

  2. its the same mystery surrounding the shoe world. where they mass produce size 10-12 shoes and not the more typical sizes.

  3. Does it have to do with behavioral economics? They know that if consumers feel like the supply is low, they'll demand it more? And if there was an abundance of chocolate croissants people would not find them as appealing? I feel manipulated.

  4. this post went in a direction i could never have anticipated...

    re-reading it now i'm hungry and disgruntled at manufacturers