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2 Catt. 5: In re Eat Wonky

2011 October 27
by CATTLEYA, J.

CATTLEYA, J., delivered the opinion of the Cart, with which JEREMY, C.J., concurred.

Eat Wonky (“EW”) bills itself as the “mischievous cousin” that “you’re not quite sure what he’s going to do next.” Apparently, mischievous cousins serve up poutine and whoopie pies. We have already reviewed EW’s poutine, a.k.a. Wonky Fries™. See In re Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 4 (2011). We now turn to EW’s whoopie pie.

The Justices of this Cart may not have the best palates to review a whoopie pie. The Chief Justice much prefers pie to cake. However, a whoopie pie, despite its name, is not a pie at all. (In our view, pies are defined by their flaky pastry crust.) For my part, I much prefer cupcakes to whoopie pies. But we would not be Justices if we could not put our personal tastes aside, and so we review this confusingly-named dessert for our reader.

EW offers whoopie pies in assorted flavors for $3 each. Unfortunately, you don’t get to choose your flavor; you just get whatever EW gives you. And when EW gives you a whoopie pie, you’re not really getting a whoopie pie from EW. EW’s whoopie pies are actually made by Virginia-based Sweet Ladies Bakery (“SLB”).

Whoopie Pie

(When EW handed me a whoopie pie—pre-prepared and prepackaged—it struck me that food trucks often sell restaurant/bakery food on the street, rather than street food on the street. What I would like to see coming off trucks are the kinds of foods that can be cooked in front of you and are meant to be eaten with your hands, without forks, while standing up. The way that it’s done in the Philippines, Turkey, Thailand, and Hong Kong, just to name a few places. So while the Chief Justice waits for his duck truck, see Metro Halal Food v. Tasty Kabob, 1 Catt. 2 (2011) (Jeremy, C.J., concurring), I’ll wait for my true street food truck.)

According to SLB’s website, it offers whoopie pies in five flavors: chocolate, lemon, vanilla, banana, and peanut butter. There are also six different cream fillings: vanilla, peanut butter, blackberry, coconut, raspberry, and hazelnut. On our visit, we were handed a chocolate whoopie pie with a vanilla cream filling. Or was it a raspberry cream filling?

Vanilla and raspberry are two flavors that are not easily confused. I know that vanilla tastes like, well, vanilla, and raspberry tastes like, well, raspberry. To be clear, I don’t mean to suggest that the vanilla filling tasted like raspberry, or vice versa. Rather, the flavor—whether it was vanilla or raspberry (or something else entirely)—got lost when paired with the stronger flavor of the surrounding chocolate cake. This was not a problem of proportions. There was enough cream filling between the cake pieces. It’s just that the filling was quiet whereas the chocolate screamed.

I liked the loud, chocolatey flavor of the cake. It was the kind that made you remember why chocolate is an addiction. The cake also had the right density: not too dense, but dense enough to serve its cookie-esque function. Plus, it wasn’t dry. I say “wasn’t dry” instead of “moist” on purpose. While the cake was not dry, it was just a smidge away from being on the wrong side of the moist/dry line.

Another reviewer has declared EW’s whoopie pie to be the best. Because we have not sampled all the whoopie pies within our jurisdiction, I cannot say whether EW’s (SLB’s, really) version is in fact the best over all other efforts. All I can say is that it was good.

AFFIRMED in part and REMANDED in part to Eat Wonky for revision.

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