Monday, May 14, 2012

One Sweet Ride: The Whoopie Pie

After a long, sweaty work out a breath of cool fresh air is usually all I need to feel fresh and ready to face the rest of my day. But sometimes, just sometimes, you might need a little bit more. Lucky for me, that little bit more was sitting right across the street in a bright pink van with flaming sides. The back of the van even warned me that it would ruin my diet, but still - after running and lifting weights - I was willing to make that sacrifice.

This was my first in person encounter with Chicago's Mobile Bakery: Sweet Ride. Twitter recommended I should follow them, for my love of Flirty Cupcakes, but I was never able to make any of their stops before. I had practically given up checking up on their twitter and facebook accounts to see if our paths had crossed. Yet, this day they were right there in front of DePaul's student center in Lincoln Park. I couldn't pass up this opportunity - not with the bright pink colors and delicious cupcakes and treats to be had.

But get this, I didn't even get a cupcake. I know, right? I am such a cupcake girl. Of course that was my original intention, but I walked up and spoke to the woman running the truck. First off, she was sweet, friendly, helpful, and knew her sweet stuff very well. It was really great talking to someone like that and being able to ask what they would recommend and having that catered to what I wanted. She explained their options that included a very tempting sweet potato cupcake that was on Cupcake Wars and a red velvet whoopie pie. I've been a little bit skeptical about the whoopie pie craze that seems to be popping up in correlation to the love of cupcakes, but this one just seemed so tempting. Their red velvet is well known, she said, as well as was sold out in cupcake form. The whoopie pie was also heart shaped. I'm a sucker for anything heart shaped.

She also gave a great description of it having a cookie-like consistency with the cream cheese frosting in the center. It just seemed to be the perfect treat to grab before getting on the Metra train. I got one and took it to go. One of the great things about food trucks is how they're ready for you to take on the go, where ever you are and where ever you are going. The difficulty I had with this whoopie pie, though, is that I love to break cookies, muffins, and most baked things into pieces with my hands (if not large enough to eat with a fork). This idea did not work so well with the whoopie pie; it was something I should have guessed ahead of time. My fingers squished the red velvet top and bottom so that the frosting squished right out of the center.

Instead of continuing with my failed attempt, I decided to just dive right in. This bite brought me back to a great, childlike joy of going face first into food, not really caring how messy you might get and just purely enjoying what you're doing. It was wonderful too, since it really did remind me of a cookie. I ended up leaning onto a lot of child roots, and let's face it we still do it as adults, and twisted the top and bottom off like an Oreo. This way I could it the top, then the bottom, and get lots of cream cheese frosting in a higher ratio of taste per bite. Perhaps I might not have enjoyed the ratio (more red velvet cookie) if I had eaten it originally, but the fun of this whoopie pie is the childlike creativity you can have with it - that and the heart shape. While it was grainier than a typical cupcake, the whoopie pie had a great tradition red velvet taste that was rich and nicely blended. It made me even more tempted to go back and try their cupcakes.

The whoopie pies are a perfect treat for an on the go bite or for kids. I can see kids really loving twisting these open and licking them or being able to eat them in the stroller or the car. I believe the whoopie pie really does bring us back to a simple time where we can just enjoy something sweet without the stress of the world around us. Luckily, Sweet Ride is bringing this piece of joy around Chicago in a flaming pink van.

Let me know what you try via Sweet Ride and your favorite whoopie pies.

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