Simply put, why the f*@#k aren’t corn muffins sold on the West Coast? If you don’t live here I’m not lying about this. It’s true. This is a serious problem, and I’m willing to do what it takes to blow the lid off of this conspiracy.
To give credit where it’s due, this issue was first brought to my attention by my friend Jill. She grew up in Connecticut and she could appreciate herself her a good corn muffin. But in her days living in the Bay Area she noted that they just don’t have them here. Now she has pulled up her roots and she and her family are living back in Providence, RI. Well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why.
Now granted, I’m the kind of person who finds out you can’t get something somewhere and it’s suddenly all I want, need, and crave. I know that doesn’t reveal a very appealing part of my temperament but be that as it may. When I was living in France my junior year of college someone casually mentioned that they have all the same candy bars there, but they don’t have Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. Well that’s all it took. I was desperate for them. A candy I’d previously never taken a particular shine to, though within seconds I was lamented how wrong it was that I’d so foolishly overlooked it’s many gastronomical virtues. To this day, Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups are my favorite candy.
So, you can imagine what happened when Jill mentioned the Corn Muffin Debacle. Actually, it was a few years ago and I’m happy to say I didn’t instantly go mad with the thought of the denial. I guess it was because Jill said she just made them herself whenever she craved them–and that pacified me, for a while at least.
But I just got back from nearly 3 weeks back East. While there I stumbled across some Thomas’ English Muffins that were made with corn meal. They were sublime. The same favorite English muffin goodness, with a slightly sweet and more crunchy corn element. We had them at my sister’s house on Cape Cod and everyone who tried one agreed they were delicious.
Then on the last day of the trip I was in the grocery store and saw another fine product by Thomas’: The Corn Toast-R-Cake. Yum! They were essentially like flattened muffin tops that’d fit nicely in your toaster so you could have your nice warm crunchy butter-topped muffin with your, say, Earl Grey Decaf tea for breakfast. My God, people! What could be better than that?!
Well I was flying cross-country solo with a baby and 12-odd tons of associated crap so I squelched the desire to buy some to take back. Besides, I thought, they’ve got to sell these in CA, right? Thomas’ is a national brand. There would be *no reason* for them to deny these delicacies to us Left Coasters just because we don’t like cold winters.
Well, I’m sure you can see where this is going. I got back and spent the ensuing days scouring the shelves of every Safeway and Albertson’s this side of the Mississippi. Sure they had all the standard English Muffins, but no Corn Toast-R-Cakes. Not even the corn English Muffins.
What gives? Frankly, this was starting to get a little creepy. I was feeling like a character in a John Grisham novel who realizes the nice boss at his fancy law firm is really not looking out for his best interests after all. So I did what any good consumer in the Internet Age would do, and sent an email to Thomas’ asking them nicely where near my zip code I can get their delicious corn products. No doubt they are somewhere here, right? I’m just probably shopping at the wrong stores.
Yesterday I got a letter from George Weston Bakeries Inc., some company that I guess is the parent company to Thomas’. In it they thanked me for my “recent communication” and said:
“We regret to inform you that this product [Thomas' Corn Toast-R-Cakes Muffins] as well as our Corn English Muffins is not distributed on the West Coast.”
Aside from the grammatical issues with that sentence, I was understandably troubled. They went on to say some rigmarole about their two corn muffin products being distributed primarily in the upstate NY and New England markets. They also dangled before me the possibility that their corn English Muffins, a new product, may be distributed outside of the northeast some day. Well I’m not holding my breath.
What I want to know is who is behind this? And to be honest with you the conspiracy extends far beyond the George Weston/Thomas’ clan. You can walk into any bakery–large or small–in California and still not find so much as a corn muffin crumb. And how can that be? Tell me there is no small bakery owner who, like Jill and I, hailed from the East Coast and understands the joy of a corn muffin.
And sure, sure, I can make them myself. But at this point, this whole thing is starting to smell very fishy. Someone is up to something and I plan to do everything within my power to get to the bottom of it.
You will hear from me again on this topic, I can assure you. And if anyone reading had any information about this, please please do share what you know. If it ever comes to it, I will not reveal you as my source.
Oy, I need to go take a nap.