They're B-a-a-a-a-ck

Remember last Spring's interminable Pittsblog angst over the emergent Cupcake Class? Of course you do. (If for some reason that series of posts has been purged from your memory, here's a link to the Post-Gazette piece that capped the whole thing.)

Today, no less an authority than The New York Times anointed cupcakes as a national wedge issue. Should cupcakes be banned from schools? On the one hand:
"While the merits of banning goodie bags filled with Reese’s and Skittles seem obvious — especially at a time when the risk of childhood diabetes is high for American children — many parents draw the line at cupcakes.

This could have something to do with the fact that in the modern age, the cupcake may be more American than apple pie — “because nobody is baking apple pies,” Professor Nestle explained.

The confection is so powerfully embedded in the national consciousness — and palate — that its future is quite possibly the only cause to unite Texas Republicans and at least some left-wing foodies behind a singular mission: keep the cupcake safe from harm."

and on the other hand:
"Can the cupcake loyalist support the sale of a chocolate Guinness cupcake with green-tea cream-cheese frosting? Has the cupcake been stolen from the people by the baking aristocracy?

For a sense of how charged the subject is, consider what happened in July, when Magnolia Bakery, having vaulted to fad status by an appearance on “Sex and the City,” was briefly shut down by the city health department for not having enough sinks at its Greenwich Village establishment.

“At last!” said a blogger posting on “We neighbors get relief from cupcakistas who don’t realize Duncan Hines makes better-tasting cupcakes.”

After a long debate thread, another blogger wrote, “You people need to go back to the suburbs ... Seriously, bunch of grown up New York City residents obsessing over a cupcake shop. I miss the gunfire and crackheads.”

Cupcakistas? That's a fighting word. Aux armes, members of the Cupcake Class! Your access to frivolous, overpriced, American-as-apple-pie, comfort food confections is in jeopardy!


2 Responses to "They're B-a-a-a-a-ck"

Jefferson Provost said... 9/23/2007 7:44 PM

"Professor Nestle?" That's a joke, right?

RichW said... 9/24/2007 11:26 PM

The idea of a Guiness cupcake is extremely appealing, and not snobbish at all.

It's the icing that puts that example over the top. Green tea? C'mon. Every civilized person knows there is only one flavor of icing that would mesh perfectly with a Guiness cupcake.

That flavor? Bass Ale, of course.

(OK, we'll accept Harp, too.)

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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