Let’s be honest, muffins, in all their glory, aren’t really all that important a topic. They are one of those foods that’s barely a food. Is it a snack? Is it a meal? A cupcake in disguise or part of a nutritious breakfast? We just don’t know. No one wants a muffin top, this we do know, but here it seems to be something of an irrelevancy.
The particular ambiguity of said pseudo-food results in two distinct “best” categories: best in that the muffin actually tastes good, which as it turns out is rare, and in the sense that it serves a purpose. Take, for example, the skinny blueberry muffin from Starbucks. It is not so much a pastry as a kitchen sponge with conceivably the same calorific value. However, the spongy nature of this muffin makes it perfect for sneaking into the library in times of academic crisis: minimal crumbage. So if you are looking for something friendly to your figure and good for those wannabe bad girl tendencies, eat this.
If you are looking for something that actually tastes like it’s meant to be edible go for the Missing Bean or Bleroni. I’m a fan of the Missing Bean’s lemon poppy seed muffin; it’s very cakey, dense and quite large. It’s a meal kind of muffin. Their blueberry muffins look fabulous too, especially in their crinkly, yes-we-make-these-from-scratch wrappers. I have not personally sampled the Bleroni muffins, seeing as they’ve been out each time I tried, but the banana chocolate chip version comes highly, highly, recommended. It apparently has “a unique blend of flavors, none overpowering the others. Thinly sliced bananas of goodness.” Given this description I wonder if they don’t have some kind of narcotic quality.
To finish up let’s just say Patisserie Valerie, “gross.” And Nero’s muffins tend to come wrapped in plastic. Not a good sign.