Thursday, September 17, 2020

Jesus Muffins

I can't say these are the best muffins I've ever had, but I've never had better. Click to expand for the full effect.

I get them from an Ecuadorian chicken place in Ossining, about a mile from the jail. They don't really know what muffins are. They don't know what to call them. They can't tell you which flavor is which. There are never more than two on hand at any time of day. They don't know what they cost. They struggle to figure out which cash register button to press. They are at a loss as to how to pack them (currently they toss them individually into large supermarket paper bags and roll them up).

There is nowhere in Ecuadorian culture for muffins. These are like alien artifacts for them. And that's why I think they're so unbelievably good. My guess is someone told the owner he could make money selling muffins to his gringo customers. So he had an employee go online and get a muffin recipe. And, only since it was all so foreign, they cooked them from scratch....CAREFULLY, using only use gloriously ripe fruit and take aching care with every step (including the sugar syrup wash that leaves the tops shatteringly glass-like in their crispness).

They don't do this because they're artists. And it's not that they care deeply. It's just that they haven't yet realized they don't *have* to. Nobody told them a big truck from Indiana could pull up and deliver them dozens of sticky sweet awful muffins from some big factory (or veterinary grade pre-made batter) for mere pennies.

So this is a temporary condition, a miracle, a cosmic Jesus accident, and I'm enjoying the hell of it. I'm like a native of the Kenyan savanna lavishing in cool breezy August weather, unable to explain or even fully describe it, but out-of-his-mind with undeserved and unexpected joy.

These are as good as the muffins at Briermere Farms in Riverhead and the ones at Coffee An' in Westport, and I think they're as good as the late, lamented Michael's Muffins of Greenwich Village in the early 90's.

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