Heralded by a large poster in the window: the spaghetti-and-meatball cupcake from a rather unsatisfying aerial perspective, looking more like fantastically blodshot eyeballs.
In a mature market, the number of varieties of a certain product must multiply in order to maintain profits. So goes the mantra of the undergrad marketing major.
Such has certainly been the case with the cupcake market. It started out slow and built gradually until Sex and the City gave it a swift kick in the ass, and now it’s been Go-Go-Go Cupcakes! ever since. Individual bakeries developed branches, new brands popped up in competition, entire bakeries arose in search of perfect gluten-free cupcakes, august commercial restaurateurs become involved, and new cupcake ideas developed as surely as the gestation of rodents deep beneath the pavement.
Recently, Fork in the Road reported that a male-oriented cupcake had been invented, leading us to speculate if the original cupcake was indeed feminine, or functionally neuter. Then along came the cartoon-personality cupcake aimed at kids, and the cupcake-that-impersonated-another-foodstuff, of which the hamburger cupcake (above) was the surest and most hilarious example.
The spaghetti-and-meatball cupcake wants to be your next meal.
Now Ruthy’s Bakery in Chelsea Market has come up with a new twist on the food-simulacrum cupcake front. Their stock-in-trade has long been making cupcakes with likenesses of cartoon characters aimed, presumably, at kids. The spaghetti-and-meatballs cupcake is more baffling. The frosting is extruded as a tangled skein of spaghetti, looking oddly real. On top of that sits a single meat ball, looking bloody but unbowed in its tomato sauce. But what does it mean?