Archive for May, 2009

27
May
09

Elevating the juice box to art

Love these juice box designs from Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa. Not sure whether they were just a project or really sold in stores. banana-packageiistrawberry-packagekiwiNow if only the box itself were edible…

26
May
09

Stockpiling Tangysweet frozen yogurt

I've begun stockpiling Tangysweet's green tea froyo. And you can, too!

I've begun stockpiling Tangysweet's green tea froyo. And you can, too!

My friend JDang is obsessed with Tangysweet. Obsessed to the point that she stockpiles them in her freezer to enjoy throughout the week. She once brought a Tangysweet to work for breakfast, if that tells you anything. Her all-time stockpiling record was 7 mediums and 1 large in one go. That’s a serious commitment, as far as freezer shelf space.

JDang realized in her NYC Pinkberry days that froyo doesn’t melt the way ice cream does, so you have at least a 30-minute window to get them into your freezer.  (I tested this in 70+ degree weather. Meltage amounted to less than 10% from store to freezer. I’m not sure how well Tangysweet fares in DC summers, though.)

I admit, I’ve taken to stockpiling too. Not only does it not melt much, but it doesn’t lose anything in consistency or flavor. It’s nice that when a Tangysweet craving hits, it’s right there at my disposal. On the other hand, this is an expensive habit to keep up.

Though JDang and I both agree that Tangysweet is the best froyo in town–correction, in the country–we can’t agree on our favorite flavors. I’m for green tea with its lemon-honey notes, while guava is my #2 (only available at the 7th Street location). Jess digs the guava the most, followed by pomegranate (sometimes available as a featured flavor).

Start stockpiling here: http://www.tangysweet.com/

26
May
09

Cupcake millionaires

The winning cupcake? A chocolcate-with-chocolate-ganache. Snooze.

The winning cupcake? A chocolate-with-chocolate-ganache. Snooze.

The backstory:

Late last year, The Washington Post conducted the “Cupcake Wars,” taste-testing the wares from 16 bakeries around the DC area. 159 cupcakes were scarfed down in all, and the chocolate ganache cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake was crowned king.

While I can personally confirm the delectability of the chocolate ganache cupcake, going with a chocolate-on-chocolate cupcake just seems like such a safe (read: boring) bet. When was the last time you met a fellow American who told you they hated chocolate? Plus, I happen to really enjoy Lavender Moon’s cupcakes, which rated poorly. I’m inclined to think my taste buds have little in common with those of the 4 primary taste-testers. Gripe gripe.

Anyhow, I recently began catching up on the Cupcake Wars series. Not sure what I was doing while they were conducting these tests–stuffing my face with de lime & de coconut cupcakes from Hello Cupcake, perhaps? Anyway, the tidbit from the article that that had my jaw on the floor was that Georgetown Cupcake brings in $2 million annually. WTF? Mind you, the sisters that run the place work their bums off. They practically live there, and they personally frost each cupcake themselves. On weekends, they sell about 4,000+; weekdays, 2,000+. But $2 million?  That brings out a kind of cupcake envy that makes me wanna spit.

From The Washington Post:

“On average, the store sells between 2,000 and 3,000 cupcakes Tuesdays through Fridays (up from 800 when it opened in February), 4,000 on Saturdays and 2,000 on Sundays. Do the math: At $2.75 each, that conservatively adds up to sales of more than $38,000 a week and $2 million annually.”

Find the article here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/11/04/ST2008110402674.html?sid=ST2008110402674

16
May
09

Dessert buffet in Amish Country

Before we headed to Pennsylvania Dutch Country, I’d done some research on tripadvisor.com on the tourist-trap smorgasbords. The Family Cupboard had pretty good reviews (and humbler prices), so we headed there for lunch. Here’s Mr. X-sXe with his plate from the dessert bar. After cleaning the plate, he insisted he wasn’t too impressed with any of the goodies, and then came down with a stomachache. Beware the all-you-can-eat dessert buffet. Anyway, I thought the egg custard (the yellow blob at 2 o’clock) was tasty, like a less decadent version of flan.Smorgasborddessert_5.09.

16
May
09

Double fisting: pretzel cones, water ice

Since we were in pretzel country, it seemed appropriate that a local ice cream shop in Ephrata , PA , was offering Snyder’s pretzel cones. Yup, that’s salt on the outside of the cone. Truthfully the cone was a lot sweeter than your typical pretzel. But a delight for fans of salty-sweet, nonetheless.

That same ice cream shop had a selection of a water ices, a Philadelphia treat that’s since turned into an East Coast franchising phenomenon (there are now over 500 branches of Rita’s Water Ice). Water ice is a type of Italian ice that’s made using the same process as ice cream. As Mr X-sXe puts it, “it’s like a Slurpee but better.”

If you’re craving pretzel cones and water ice, head to Greco’s Italian Ices & Homemade Ice Cream in Ephrata , PA.

WatericePretzelcone

16
May
09

Wet bottom shoo-fly pie

Shooflypie

Yeah, I know. Even the name sounds gross.

This is a molasses-filled pie, a signature Pennsylvania Dutch treat. The name comes from the fact that the molasses attracts flies,  so you gotta shoo them away.

We thought it was  interesting that the ones we saw at the farmer’s market were labeled “wet bottom” shoo-fly pies. When Mr X-sXe asked the middle-aged lady behind the counter, “what’s a wet bottom?” she explained that it had a pudding layer under the molasses. When we dug into the pie, we had trouble finding the wet bottom. Actually, we had trouble tasting any molasses at all.  Actually, I have had decent shoo-fly pie before.  Maybe we just gotta stick to the dry bottoms.