Oh Sweet, Sweet Joy: A Vitamin Holiday Taste Test
by Mike Karfakis on December 16, 2010
The cupcake craze has been jolting around the country, predominantly on the coasts, for the past few years. Baltimore has had its fair share of coverage in the cake realm with Charm City Cakes, but we have yet to break in on the cupcake scene. Fortunately for us, though, DC’s Georgetown Cupcake - founded by sisters Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne – is not too far away.
We had been hearing nothing but good things about the duo’s cupcakes, what with their first-place win in The Washington Post’s famous “cupcake wars” and their new show on TLC. Considering how charming these little concoctions can be, how bad our sweet tooth gets around this time of year and the always challenging task of deciding what to send to clients for the holidays -- what else could we do but embark on a taste test of our own?
The mission was to get a dozen cupcakes, each a different flavor, in order to determine which ones to send to our clients. We scrutinized Georgetown Cupcake’s menu and picked the defining dozen.
Soon enough, a cute pink package arrived via FedEx. It had been hard enough to choose the initial dozen flavors to test. To make our final choices, we had to have a plan. And the plan had to involve everyone tasting everything, although the four of us doing the tasting didn’t necessarily want to eat three cupcakes at once.
What to do? We quartered each cupcake and then re-assembled our own, each consisting of four different flavors. Working on weekends isn’t always popular, but this assignment – taste and rate each flavor – was quite a hit.
Equipped with a rating sheet, descriptions of what was in our individual samplers, a diagram of the placement of each flavor, and our lucky palates, we took them home. We ate. We tweeted. We took notes. We vowed to never eat again.
The following Monday, we had an afternoon meeting to compare notes, share thoughts, and have mini-debates about whether or not peanut butter fudge was the best flavor we’d ever tasted. Ever.
“It was like heaven,” one tester said.
The other clear favorite was gingerbread.
“We have a winner!” noted one entry. “Mmmmm,” read another.
Choosing the rest of the flavors was slightly more challenging, but we were tireless in our pursuit of flavor perfection. We compared our ratings, varying from 1 (low) to 5 (high) for each cupcake and worked out the averages. We came up with totals, ranging from 10.5 to 19.
In the end, we chose six different flavors to send in each box. We split it halfway: three chocolate variations and three other flavors.
The final six: 1. Gingerbread 2. Peanut Butter Fudge 3. Mint Cookies & Creme 4. New Years Eve (chocolate on chocolate) 5. Maple 6. Chocolate Egg Nog.
Happy Holidays indeed!
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