This post is an ode to Starbucks.
Uhp! Nope! Stop! Zip it! I don’t want to hear it. If any of you so much as THINKS about making a comment with the words “corporate” or “swill” or “their cups have completely ruined my relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” in it, I will roll my eyes at my computer screen in the general direction of your profile picture.
You can calm down because I am not going to discuss Starbucks coffee, we all know what it tastes like and what it costs and what its strengths and weaknesses are and I basically have nothing to contribute on the topic. Today, however, I am compelled to discuss Starbucks food, which has been BLOWING ME AWAY lately.
Ok, so this doesn’t really fall under the umbrella of “lately,” but KIND bars are the greatest bar-shaped food product on the planet, and the only meal replacement-y thing I can truly accept into my heart and replace a meal with. They are totally commonplace now, but I am proud to consider myself a KIND bar early adopter. As such, I know that Starbucks was an early adopter as well. You could get KIND bars at Starbucks before you could get them anywhere else, and I appreciated that. I could write a whole post on KIND bars but I won’t, because this post is about Starbucks. So thanks, Starbucks, for having KIND bars years ago and also for recently bringing them back because it seemed like you weren’t carrying them for a spell there and I was really stressed out about it but they are apparently back and I just bought one yesterday so we’re cool.
Evolution Harvest Nut and Seed Mix
I remain highly suspicious that Starbucks was/is trying to replace KIND bars with these little Evolution Harvest nut and seed packs. In my heart of hearts I would like to be angry about this but holy moly the Pecan, Pepita, Cayenne and Lemon ones? These are what those bizarre and disgusting savory KIND bars were* trying to be, but they are actually totally delicious. I can only hope for a world in which KIND bars and Evolution Harvest packs may one day peacefully coexist.
Starbucks Breakfast Sandwiches
Did you know that we are smack dab in the midst of a freaking Starbucks Breakfast Sandwich Renaissance? Are you aware that we have recently emerged triumphant from a long and painful period during which there were no Starbucks Breakfast sandwiches? You may not remember this, but during the Starbucks Breakfast Sandwich Era 1.0 they experimented with serving them and then had to stop because the microwaved eggs were, as microwaved eggs are wont to do, creating pervasive fart smells in all of the shops. I swear that I know this to be true but I am not going to provide any proof because I don’t want any “Starbucks+fart smell” nonsense in my Google search history/AutoComplete bar and whatnot. But I promise, it happened and I read about it one time. So to recap, there were breakfast sandwiches, and then there weren’t breakfast sandwiches, and now there are breakfast sandwiches again. And the sandwiches are now both odorless and COMPLETELY FREAKING DELICIOUS.
That is not to say that the process is completely worked out. At any given moment, I can pretty much promise you that they do not have the sandwich you are about to order. Stashed away in a drawer, Starbucks Breakfast Sandwiches are the Schrodinger’s cat of sandwiches. If you ask if they have a Spinach Egg White and Feta wrap, even if they say they do, there is no real way of knowing that this is true. In reality, they both have Spinach Egg White and Feta wraps and are out of Spinach Egg White and Feta wraps until the drawer is opened and the wrap is observed. I have found that the most efficient solution here is to say “Ok, you are going to go to the drawer and read off what sandwiches you have, and I am going to choose one.” It’s tricky to deliver this in a way that sounds polite and not at all bank robber-y. I am still working on it. Regardless, I am not going to recommend you go out of your way to get any specific breakfast sandwich, because they probably don’t have it. Just trust me, they are all good. So pick one ::cough:: SpinachEggWhiteFetaWrap ::cough:: TurkeyBaconEggWhiteCheddar ::cough:: and go with it. Starbucks is freaking KILLING IT on the microwaved breakfast sandwiches right now and you don’t want to miss out.
Cranberry Bliss Bars
I have actually never had one of these but I can tell just by looking at them that they are fantastic. They look so good you don’t even NEED to eat them. Just go to Starbucks and look at a Cranberry Bliss bar. It’s great.
What the hell is Moon Cheese? And why is Starbucks introducing it to me? According to the packaging, Moon Cheese is just cheese. 100% cheese. It is dehydrated and aerated in some strange way that turns it, texturally, into the bastard child of a parmesean crisp and a cheese puff. Here is a closer look, in case my phone photo is in some way more illuminating than the photos on the bag (it isn’t):
I’m not sure whether they are calling it “Moon Cheese” because it is kind of like the dehydrated space food no one ever buys at a museum, or because they look like little rocks and they’re working the whole moon-is-made-of-cheese trope. Probably a little of both. I am willing to ignore this, though, because flavor-wise they taste like what I would imagine that sassy anthropomorphic cheese wheel on the Cheez-It commercials to taste like, and by that I mean they taste AMAZING. I have only eaten one bag of these so far but my mind is blown and I can already tell they are going to be life-changing. Cravings for night cheese and a crunchy snack can now be simultaneously satisfied. You can eat cheese on the go and the unfinished portion can be safely tucked away in your purse for later. And most importantly, now that mankind has stepped up its nonperishable cheese game, I no longer need to fear a post-apocalyptic world. Thank you Starbucks. I am sorry I ever questioned you. Oh, and they go great with coffee.
And finally, for fairness, a lowlight:
Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese popcorn
I tried the Moon Cheese and was riding this “damn, coffee and cheese really are the BEST COMBINATION IN THE WORLD” high and saw this blue cheese popcorn and just KNEW it would be amazing, and it wasn’t. It tastes like Smartfood, faintly blue cheese flavored. I also realized that this is the second time I have a reviewed a popcorn by saying “It tastes like Smartfood, ergo it is terrible.” This got me thinking that some poor saps out there must like Smartfood or they wouldn’t make it, and maybe I should stop reviewing things this way. So I’m going to do something different. This Friday (Christmas), Starbucks will be closed but the Curious Shopper will be OPEN, and if you see me, you might be asked to try Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese popcorn and let me know what you think about it. And you might also get some of Curious Shopper’s Favorite Things for your troubles. And yes, just so we’re clear, I did just compare myself to Oprah. Merry Christmas!
* Were? Are? Have they discontinued them yet or are they just going to be perpetually reduced to clear?