Dear Bon Appetit’s English Muffin Tasters,
It’s that season again — where every Anglo-Saxon bread lover refreshes their browsers with an anticipation not seen since Martha Stewart’s parole hearing. Even the butter knives tremble with excitement. For today is the day Bon Appetit released the coveted, time-honored Thomas Guide, a ranking of every English muffin flavor. The byzantine review process of the hallowed B.A. test kitchen is, of course, a trade secret guarded by Anthony Bourdain and an egg beater. Everyone knows that. What everyone doesn’t know is that the whole thing, this cherished ranking, is a well-oiled Dutch Oven of high-grade industry bullshit.
Want proof? Look no further than Cranberry, the unquestionable king of the English Muffin food chain, nestled at 8th place, next to multigrain, like some run-of-the-mill whore-muffin. CRANBERRY?! SECOND TO LAST?!
Cranberry is the undisputed, non-gendered monarch of English Muffins. And I will split you with a fork if you disagree.
Surely you’ve topped this holiday wonder-bread with a smidge of aged cheddar, taken a hearty bite, and recognized the One True English Muffin. Or smothered it in creamy Dijon with a slice of spiced ham. Have you never tasted the sublime pairing of a leftover Thanksgiving sandwich, turkey and stuffing lightly coated in gravy, sandwiched in the light yet toasty valleys of a muffin that already baked the cranberry sauce inside of itself for you? Go ahead — try it. I know fully well you’ve got 137 Thanksgiving turkeys begging to be your November cover-bird, and it can’t hurt to eat one now.
I doubt that this pitiful excuse of an objective ranking was a mistake — your one “superfan” who appreciated the the “tartness and hint of orange” spoke reason to madness, yet went unheeded. Surely s/he was not the most evolved palette in the room? The only one left in your office with a working tongue? Alas — that would almost be more comforting than the truth:
These rankings were rigged.
The grubby, unwashed fingers of special interest groups are all over this list, from the suspiciously high placement of blueberry (even Maine Senator Angus King doesn’t eat blueberry English muffins) to the fact that you even considered a corn muffin (who’s your editor these days, Monsanto?). But nowhere is the selling-out of Bon Appetit more apparent than the inclusion of pumpkin spice — PUMPKIN SPICE! — in the top 5. Never has there been a more nefarious, well-funded, and whiter excuse for a taste than the autumnal flavor-splooge known as pumpkin spice. Yet there it is on your once-esteemed list, rubbing shoulders with the god-forsaken corn monstrosity and a sourdough variety that I’m pretty sure you made up.
Side-note: can we stop naming breads “honey wheat?” It’s either that or we start calling regular bread “Wheat Flavored.”
Perhaps, like so many once-trusted news organizations of old, you’ve simply succumbed to click-baity controversies that stir-up comments and clicks; if so, I regret to be pulled into your cornmeal dusted web of deception. Perhaps you simply want to horde all of this seasonal delicacy to yourself; if so, I can hardly blame you, for I do the same thing myself. Or perhaps you’ve lost your editorial way and cozied up to Big Cinnamon (which is the same thing that happened to Bill O’Reilly, except “Big Cinnamon” was a nickname for a Latinx intern and the cozying was most definitely not consensual).
No matter the reason, seeing Bon Appetit reduced to such sensationalist, ratings-grabbing maneuvers is the definition of fake news, and I dare any soul to prove me wrong. To call your English Muffin Rankings definitive is to besmirch the good name of Sir Samuel Bath Thomas, inventor of the English Muffin. And if you expect me to continue reading your magazine after publishing such drivel, well, you can suck my nooks and crannies.
At least once my subscription runs out.
Originally published for ArtplusMarketing.com