AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Dear Whole Foods: Get it Together! DATE: 6/04/2009 10:18:00 AM ----- BODY:
A few years ago, Whole Foods came out with a line of “Two-Bite” confections: two-bite cupcakes, two-bite brownies, two-bite macaroons. As someone who truly wants only a bite or two of sweets, these were the perfect treats! I regularly purchased the chocolate cupcakes – they were moist with a perfect crumb, and the buttercream frosting was rich and creamy – perfect! I developed a pack-a-week habit. I would bring them to friends’ houses for after-dinner treats, or keep them around my place for a mid-day sugar kick.

To fill this demand, Whole Foods went into mass production and that’s when the quality dropped off. On several occasions, I would get home only to discover the cupcakes’ expiration date had already passed. I started double checking dates while still in the store, and always alerted the store manager when I found some past their prime. Phase two of the downfall – I would get home with unexpired cupcakes and they were already stale. You can tell from the crumb – it was dry. Again, I would return to the store and alert the manager.

After a few more purchases of pre-expired stale cupcakes, I stopped buying them. Clearly, all my attempts to help them with quality control fell on deaf ears.

Fast-forward two years… I’m at Whole Foods again, craving sugar, and notice a beautiful display of the famed (or is it, infamous?) two-bite chocolate cupcakes. Whole Foods continue to sell them; obviously people must still be buying them, so surely they must have gotten their acts together.

Not a chance! Stale, with two weeks to go until they “expire.”

I was too tired to complain again; previous attempts achieved nothing. But I didn’t want to waste them either.

The solution: BABKA! I mushed up the cupcakes...

...and used them as a filling for a challah with chocolate swirls. How’s that for recycling?

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Katie DATE:6/04/2009 04:18:00 PM That's an extremely creative solution, and your Babka looks delicious! And now you've inspired me to make bread this weekend! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:6/05/2009 07:27:00 AM Thanks for the heads-up about these cupcakes. I'm also someone who likes a small bite of something sweet from time to time, especially in the mid-afternoon, but a small bite of something stale doesn't do it for me. I hope Whole Foods folks are reading this post. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous limeduck DATE:6/05/2009 01:47:00 PM I'm torn between asking if you have a good recipe or suggestion for making some non-stale mini-cupcakes and just eating a bowl of mushed-up stale cupcakes... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous angela@spinachtiger DATE:6/06/2009 10:45:00 AM The recycling is genius. I shop at whole foods a lot, but refuse to buy anything in their bakery, except the occasional Italian bread. I think truly their baked goods are horrible and I'm always surprised to see they actually sell the stuff. Those mini cakes that look so friends wouldn't take more than first awful bite. How do they get that so wrong when they get so much right?

Make your own little two-biters. And, I'm thinking do I really want cake with TWO WEEK shelf life? ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Grace DATE:6/06/2009 02:23:00 PM i HATE wasting food, so i applaud you for doing this! not only did you salvage the cupcakes, but you also creating something completely appealing--bravo! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types DATE:6/07/2009 07:11:00 AM Much better than making lemonade out of lemons - but in this case, that is still a suitable analogy! Good work! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Lori DATE:6/07/2009 04:39:00 PM Good thinking for using up your leftovers. Too bad about WF stale cupcakes. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:6/08/2009 10:05:00 AM Katie -- it was tasty! didn't last long

Lydia -- Me too! I really do like the idea of the two-bites...

limeduck -- the mushed up ones were actually better than the non-mushed, stale. Go figure.

angela, yes, yes, yes! I agree with everything you said.

Grace -- classic win-win situation... except that it started from a loss.

T.W. thanks.

Lori -- it really is a shame. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Psychgrad DATE:6/28/2009 03:30:00 PM That's disappointing. But good re-inventing! I don't have a Whole Foods in my city, but know that they're upper scale as far as grocery stores go. The quality of their food should match that. ----- --------