Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Forking Dilemma

A Package of Delinquent Muffins

The guiding principle for my life’s conduct has been this choral refrain from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida:

“Isn't your life extremely flat
With nothing whatever to grumble at!”

I certainly do have a plethora of material to inspire such grumbling, including TV’s talking heads, natural and man-made catastrophes, and my Republican friends, among others. But the most recent grumble has been the failure of the Thomas’ Bread Company to properly fork-split their English muffins.

Up until a few years ago, the gentle application of thumbs to muffin’s edge yielded two halves with all the requisite nooks & crannies one could hope for. Sadly, such a bisection now requires the careful insertion of a fork all around muffin’s edge. Those nooks & crannies appear to be unchanged, as is the flavor, and the little pools of butter that fill the furrowed surfaces delight even the most selective of palates.

Samuel Bath Thomas created the Original "Nooks & Crannies" English Muffin through a secret process after opening his own bakery in New York City in 1880. I suspect that “forking” his muffins were de rigueur in the early days. But as mechanization took over, a machine with forking prongs was surely added to the production process.

Could it be that the prongs have worn down? Or has a management team from McKinsey & Company recommended that less forking would yield a better bottom line? The parent company, Grupo Bimbo (ticker: BIMBO—no, I am not kidding), has not responded to my several polite (unusual for me) inquiries regarding their failure to adequately fork-split.

In sum, it is a forking dilemma!


  1. I forking love this! Especially "a management team from McKinsey & Company recommended that less forking would yield a better bottom line?"

    1. I have a friend who was a partner at McKinsey. He got a kick out of their being mentioned.

  2. A forking shame! But when did I last eat an English muffin? Or a Uneeda biscuit? A slice of Wonder bread? I wonder.


    1. Uneedas were discontinued, probably after Kraft bought Nabisco. I've been told that Goya Crackers are similar. A friend's dad was a VP at Wonder, a name now owned by another mega firm.