A Definitive Ranking of the English Muffins That May Enter My Household.

A Primer.

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HARD NO

5. Anything Whole Wheat

If you see me eating a whole wheat English muffin, something has gone very wrong. Whole wheat English muffins are grainy, too crunchy, and get warped in the toaster. They do not stand up to toppings and soak them up like a dish sponge. They disrespect my Kerrygold butter and make it hard to spread that golden deliciousness around. They are inappropriate and offensive, and may not enter my household unless it is THE MOST dire of circumstances (i.e. I have no carbs for the morning and they are the only option in the bodega). They have the ability to ruin my day.

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Sure. If the only other option is whole wheat.

4. Thomas’ Cinnamon Raisin

Look, I can get behind Thomas’s. They have fluffy white middles and crispy little edge holes that burn a little and collect golden pools of butter that explode in your mouth with a crunchy SNAP. However, I am an English muffin purist. The raisins get TOO HOT in the toaster and once I burned my tongue when the hot raisin EXPLODED in my mouth. I had to put ice on my tongue rather than enjoy my delicious morning snack. For that reason, I will never again trust these English muffins. Allowed in my household if the only other option is whole wheat.

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Now we’re cooking

3. Thomas’ Original

OK, sure. See above re: fluffy white middles and crispy little edge holes. Thomas’ original also taste vaguely processed in a way that is soothing, like the Eggos and Toaster Strudels of my youth. A solid buy and nothing I would be mad about to see on my counter in the morning. Invited into my household on a semi-regular basis.

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Something worthy waking up for!

2. Bays Sourdough

BAY’S. They are tangy and crunchy, with the crispy edge holes for butter that make Thomas’ worth it, without the high burn potential. They tolerate butter and marmalade EXTREMELY well, and the edges get crispier faster than the middle. Excellent for dunking in egg yolks. Aesthetically appealing. Appetizingly sexy. I don’t like that you have to refrigerate them, mainly because I forget about half the time and then worry if I’ve ruined them. Always happy to see these gentleman in my household and they have a standing invitation.

HOWEVER.

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THE CLEAR WINNER IS: Some English muffins I got at at a restaurant in Chicago once almost a year ago.

Let me tell you a love story.

I wasn’t even at a bakery. I was at an overpriced restaurant in Lincoln Park where I angrily paying $17 for a salad for lunch. As I struggled to get my enormous coat on, bracing myself for the wind slap I was about to take to the face when I stepped outside, I saw a tiny bakery tucked into the corner of the entrance. , I thought to myself, trying not to get my hopes up as my legs moved without my permission toward it.

I went over the register, carefully arranging my face in a look of disdain, guarding against my disappointment. Then I saw some pretty nice looking macaroons. And a solid ginger molasses cookie. AND SOME MESMERIZING ENGLISH MUFFINS.

They were thick, yet soft (yes, I touched one when the cashier’s back was turned). They were sticky on the outside, and I still don’t know why. Maybe they were baked with lard or something. You don’t ask perfection to defend itself. They had a very small amount of corn meal. They were heavy in the bag (that might be because I bought six of them). I ran them back to my sister’s apartment and erased the small amount of good that lunch salad had done by eating two immediately.

There’s really no way for me to properly discuss them except in haiku:

Deep yet not bready

Purveyor of the butter

Classy yet dirty

I wish I could have them again. But sometimes, a love story is perfect precisely BECAUSE it has an ending. Those feelings can remain pure. But English muffins from a restaurant in Lincoln Park that serves mainly overpriced salads: know that if you’re reading this, you’re ALWAYS invited back into my household. Love you.

Written by

Satirist and pizza scientist. Co-founder of The Belladonna + Satire and Humor Festival. Buy my book “New Erotica for Feminists” here! https://amzn.to/2HnQf8m

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