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Leslie Goldman Headshot

Apple "Fries" Versus Frosting Shot: Which is the Better Invention?

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Pardon any smearing in this blog but I can't stop drooling over news/photos of the most insanely amazing food product to ever be created and marketed:

The frosting shot.

It looks like this and tastes, I would imagine, like a mixture of heaven, Willy Wonka's imagination, plus a touch of crack high.

Apparently the frosting shot has been created (and served up at bakeries like Sprinkles and Babycakes NYC) in response to consumer demand to cup the crap, ditch the cakey part of the cupcake and just cut to the chase. After all, we all know the frosting is where it's at. I remember being served Ding Dongs as a little girl and peeling off that dense fudgy lid with the white squiggle, 86ing the cake and slowly chewing the top with pure gastronomic glee.

In this AP article, Cheryl Day, owner of Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, Ga., says she swirls pure frosting into little cups and serves them during Friday night "Cupcake Happy Hour" (suddenly Shabbat dinner just got a lot less appealing.) For 75 cents, customers get a delicious dose of sugar and butter...and likely have the energy of a toddler on acid. For about five minutes, at least, until the inevitable crash hits.

News of the frosting shot comes just days after I saw the commercial for Burger King's new BK Fresh Apple Fries for the first time. Red apples are sliced into the shape of French fries, then served in the same containers as traditional fries. And yet...they're not fries. They are a cold, crunchy, 35-calorie, fat-free treat (For comparison's sake, a small serving of BK French fries has 230 calories and 13 grams of fat. A shot of frosting has...well, I'd rather live in blissful ignorance. But I wonder if the NY bakeries need to comply with the new city regulations mandating nutritional data be shown in the same style and font as the item itself?). My mother, a pre-school teacher who sees both the impact of excess calories on little bodies as well as overhears three-year-olds talk about going on diets to become pretty, thinks the "fries" are ingenious. I'm sure many doctors, nutritionists and parents agree. At first I wasn't sure what to think - is it right to try and trick kids into eating fruits and veggies? Shouldn't we encourage them to enjoy the real thing, rather than fold blended cauliflower into mac 'n cheese? Are Apple Fries akin to slapping a slice of eggplant between two zuccini wedges with a layer of mustard and packaging them as a "Big Mac" with cheese?

But the more I see the commercial (and it is on all the time), the more enamored I become of these crunchy fry subs. It's a small but meaningful step in the fight against childhood obesity. Like offering lowfat milk instead of soda or carrot sticks instead of potato chips. Actually, it's quite brilliant - kids get the excitement of a French fry package and can say they're eating "fries" while enjoying nature's candy and (hopefully) paving the way for a healthy future.

Now, though, with news of the frosting shot burrowing its way deep into my brain, I'm forced to make a decision - which one is the better invention? Taking my favorite dessert, distilling it down to the very essence of its being and serving it in a shot glass for less money than a pack of sugar-free gum...or a mass-produced fast food snack that gets children psyched about eating fruit?

I may never arrive at a concrete conclusion. Ultimately I may need to compromise and enjoy the best of both worlds, dipping my apple sticks into my frosting shot, like those crazy kids with their Wendy's fries and Frosties.