18
Aug
07

whole foods v. safeway

this week, i taste tested the dessert offerings of two of the supermarkets here in dc: whole foods and safeway.

at whole foods, there was an ample dessert case with a bunch of mouthwatering choices, but I chose the cutest things on the menu: mini cupcakes with roses on top, and key lime tarts.

here are some crappy shots of them from my cell phone camera:
cute key lime tartscute cupcakes

well, whole foods put a lot of thought and effort into the appearance, undoubtedly to make up for the fact that these were awful tasting. the key lime tarts failed to be tart, with any citrusy snap lost under a pile of oversweet cream.

and the cupcakes were flat out awful. the white icing was tasteless, while the pink icing was vaguely berry flavored, although i detected some notes of flowery soapiness (yes, this could be due to the fact that this was an icing rose, but still). the greatest offense, however, was the fact that the cake itself was DRY. it crumbled apart in my hands, to the point that when i went to throw the food away, i trailed crumbs to the trashcan, like a forlorn jack or jill.

safeway, on the other hand, had nothing that looked as appetizing as the cakes in whole foods. rather, baked goods lie out under industrial lights, manhandled to the point that icing has rubbed off on their plastic containers (which is SO frustrating.)
i picked up a generous 3 inch by 3 inch square of sheet cake for $2.49 – $1.99 with my club card. it was a standard slice of vanilla cake with vanilla icing and a purple, slightly smushed flower on top.

the taste, however, was worlds better than whole foods. it was moist, with the sugary icing tasting of sugary icing. best of all, since i got so much cake, i can squirrel it away for several days, taking a bite now and then when my cake craving returns. count me impressed.

so how does this shake out?
if you’re going to an event where attendees will oooh and aaah over how the cakes looks, but then not really eat any of them, get a whole foods cake.

but if you’re going to hang out with real friends who love food and want to spend hours getting a sugar high on, go with safeway.

in my book, safeway wins every time.

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