diamond geezer

 Thursday, April 14, 2005

Do you know the muffin man...?

Tea and muffins—how quintessentially English. Except that, in today's Britain, the only muffins available are transatlantic impostors. I'd like to complain.

Muffins used to be, and in certain parts of English society still are, flat circular yeast-based griddle-cooked toast-like tea-time treats. Delia recommends that they be toasted on both sides, then the edges pulled part-way apart and the interior filled liberally with butter, maybe with a little jam for added taste. Mrs Beeton would have agreed, although she'd have used a toasting-fork rather than a griddle, and she'd have said "Muffins are not easily made, and are more generally purchased than manufactured at home". Muffins aren't crumpets, which are more batter-y and rather hole-ier, and they're not pikelets, which are more similar to thick mini-pancakes. Most importantly, muffins are not the lardy stodge capsules full of chocolate chips and alien berries which appear to have invaded our shores from America over the last few years.

The modern muffin bears no relation whatsoever to its traditional namesake. The modern muffin is more cake than bread, more sweet than savoury and far more 3-D than 2-D. It's heavy where its predecessor used to be light, dense where it used to be fluffy and brash where it ought to be delicate. As you may have guessed, I'm not a fan. 'American muffins' are towers of sponge with an overflowing top like an atomic mushroom cloud, and equally toxic. It's impossible to pick one up and eat it because every dimension is too broad compared to the widest stretch of human teeth. Muffins have to be picked apart with your fingers, which then become covered with sticky chocolate or blueberry stains. They lack real flavour, and any lingering aftertaste is probably wholly artificial. Muffins are also unfinishable, at least with a clear conscience, but millions of Britons still plough on to the last crumb all the same, risking pig-like obesity with every daily mouthful.

And yet the modern muffin is everywhere. It's an unwelcome foreign intruder, much like all those bland homogenised coffee bars which are busy replacing the remainder of Britain's high street eateries. The muffin has become, in a very short time, the snack treat of choice - mainly because caterers no longer provide much of an alternative. Where there might once have been fresh buns, or cakes, or pastries, now there's just a tray of mass-produced muffins wrapped in plastic with an sell-by date several months into the future. Alas, the modern muffin is easy to mass produce, easy to pump full of preservatives and easy to pile high. The manufacturers enjoy a huge profit margin, even if we don't particularly enjoy the synthetic product they force upon us.

Of course, your view of modern muffins may be completely different to mine. Maybe you like sugary stodge, or maybe the muffins you eat are home-made, or maybe you prefer the savoury muffins favoured Down Under. Whatever the case, please speak your mind in the dg Muffinometer. Voice your opinion on my sliding scale, somehere from Muffin (full-on muffin fan) down to Nuffin (vehement muffin hater). Stick a comment in the appropriate box or, if you prefer the no-effort version, just post the single word "muffin" in the box of your choice. Let the people decide.

Muffin  Love   Like   Tolerate   Hate   Nuffin


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
life viewed from london e3

email    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream