Tide pools: Muffin musings

Road Journals Blog—Breakfast muffins and I have a complicated relationship.My mother taught me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, not a time for sugary stuff. And yet I have a sweet tooth the size of Mt. Whitney.

Thus my ambivalence about starting the day with a muffin. I want a one that’s not just a sugary cupcake, but I also don’t want something so whole grainy and fibrous that eating it feels like doing penance.

I thought about what makes a perfect breakfast muffin one day in Cannon Beach, Ore. At Waves of Grain Bakery, which occupies a cute shingled cottage in that coastal town, I came across this sight just below a sign reading, “Coffee isn’t a drug. It’s a vitamin!”:

I stood there analyzing the contents of the display case. The raisin bran muffins and the spelt muffins were the obvious healthy choices, made far more attractive by the addition, respectively, of espresso glaze and blackberries. The streusel topping on the blueberry-raspberry muffins sure looked sugary, but those muffins had two kinds of fruit in them, and wasn’t that healthier?

Here’s what I chose:

I would like to note all the blueberries, which are full of antioxidants and made me feel pretty virtuous. A virtuous but delicious muffin—great breakfast food.

I’d love to hear your nominations for best breakfast muffin, whether virtuous or simply indulgent.

Christopher Hall stopped into Cannon Beach while researching his article, "Pool party," which appears on the cover of the March/April issue of VIA.

This blog post was first published in January 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.