Tuesday, December 13, 2011

cupcake vs muffin

time to tackle the age old question, cupcake or muffin?
i've been ruminating on the subject for awhile now and noted many similarities between the two. both terms refer to delicious baked goods, both can be used as terms of endearment, and conversely, both can be used as insults when belittling people (i personally prefer the term 'muffin' for said purpose)...

i can still remember the day i was stuck in a restaurant basement, toiling away on the baked goods for that night's dinner service & listening to 'the debaters' on cbc radio. the topic up for discussion that day was pie vs. cake. the debaters made such eloquent & entertaining points that is really struck a chord, particularly when they became so impassioned by such a ridiculous, hilarious & frivolous topic. i feel the same approach should be applied to muffin vs. cupcake.

 they are so similar yet perceived so differently. clearly my allegiances lie on one side of this argument, but thought i should broach the subject in an objective manner nonetheless.

according to wikipedia, 'a muffin is a type of quick bread that is baked in small portions,' whereas a cupcake is 'a small cake designed to serve one person.' however, there is not much that can classified as bread-like about most north american muffins. wikipedia goes on to say that during the 20th century 'the sugar and fat content [...] increased to the point where the 'muffins' were almost indistinguishable from cupcakes.' i could not agree more.

people often refer to my cupcakes as muffins or ask where they can find a healthy muffin while shopping at the seaport market. this really irks me. the entire notion of a muffin is baffling to me. perhaps it's just the modern, north american interpretation of a 'muffin' that baffles me. english muffins & corn muffins are fine, but the b*****dization of a muffin that's on north american shelves drives me bananas - laden with sugar, fat & very little nutritional value, just a small cake... a cupcake if you will.

so i put on my investigative journalist hat and went looking for some hard-hitting facts, she said while dripping with sarcasm. the first place i looked was the tim horton's website. those folks are pretty insane. first of all, how can you even invent a muffin that has 410 calories, 15 g of fat & 37 g of sugar, and secondly how can you market that as a healthy breakfast option? to put that in perspective, a greasy bacon & egg mcmuffin from mcdonald's has 320 calories & 14 g of fat...

sure if made well, muffins taste delicious. i'm not about to argue that point, but don't fool yourself, muffins are not healthy. muffins do not make a meal. nor do cupcakes. i can appreciate cupcakes though because they do not masquerade as health food. a cupcake is a treat - a cute, delectable treat. as far as i'm concerned a muffin is just a cupcake without frosting and a false, misconstrued sense of identity.

i have one regular saturday customer who religiously buys 2 un-iced carrot cupcakes. we both acknowledge the fact that they are still cupcakes and she considers them a special treat. there are some websites debating what constitutes a muffin, there is even a formula and a heated debate over the addition of fruit. my carrot cupcakes have fruit & vegetables and oil instead of butter but they are still cupcakes even without the frosting.

if you were to buy a muffin from a place like come to fruition (formerly known as super snacks) or gali's healthy kitchen i'm sure that it would be packed with lots of healthy things - fibre, nutrients, antioxidants... however, from most other places it's pretty much super-refined sugar, super-refined flour and butter - not exactly health food.

i have no problem with muffins, i do however, have a problem with pretending to be something that you're not. a muffin is essentially a wolf in sheep's clothing - a secret lair of calories, fat & sugar. whereas a cupcake embraces its lot in life, makes no bones about it and owns up to it's lack of nutritional value.

in conclusion, if you want dessert, buy a cupcake or muffin and if you want something healthy, buy an apple. if you're going to have a muffin you may as well put some frosting on top - it'll make you smile & that's better for your mental health ;) just please don't call my cupcakes muffins.

1 comment:

  1. Still can't get over the egg mcmuffin vs the muffin. Sheesh!