Rules of attraction

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Eating out

You know that old don’t judge a book by its cover-saying? When it comes to attraction, everybody pretends not to care about the outside as long as what’s on the inside is sweet and lovely but come on. Looks matters. Smell too. Taste. And yes, as I’ve said before, size most definitely matters. The inside is of course what forms a long-lasting relationship, but we would never be all fired up in the first place if it wasn’t for the outside.

That’s why I have the hots for cupcakes, even though they hardly ever live up to their sexy exterior. Cupcakes have the same effect on me as macarons. They’re colorful and pretty and they come in so many varieties, when I see them I want them. I want them a lot and I want a lot of them, like right now. Just one isn’t enough, because they look so god damn good together I want several at the time. I want to look at them and take pictures of them and finally, bite in to them. And then I’m disappointed. Macarons are, with few exceptions, pretty dull and same-tasting: The almond takes over and there’s almost always too little cream to make it worthwhile. The cupcakes, on the other hand, are usually nothing but a drier muffin with a too sugary icing on top of it.

In Nashville, however, I ran into that precious exception that makes all the previous disappointments worth it. The Cupcake Collection in Germantown is a family-owned bakery that makes cupcakes and nothing but cupcakes, and that they master to perfection. We walked by there by chance and my shallow, superficial, pretty things-loving heart took a leap of excitement. Cupcakes, beautiful little cupcakes! We sat down on the porch and then magic happened. Yes, it was pretty to look at, but the inside was just as beautiful too: moist and filled with strawberry pieces, the icing fresh and fluffy. It was all I’d ever wanted from a cupcake but had almost given up on.

I know, I know, it might have tasted just as good even if it looked gray, dull and insipid. And I know one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure and all that. Luckily, taste is different. With time, things can also grow on you. Something that seemed insignificant at first can turn out to be the best you’ve ever had. Sometimes, though, some times, that thing that looked like the bomb also happens to rock your world. Or, since we’re talking about cupcakes here, give you a damn fine coffee break.

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Malin Ågren is a copywriter living in Sweden. Food is her number one hobby.

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