This is episode 3 in the cupcake vs. macaroon no-contest contest. As previously posted, Amanda McClements, in her Metrocurean Food Blog, asserted the macaroon is in a trend war to become the next cupcake. Be Brave, Lose the Beige has launched a campaign to demonstrate the cupcake is superior on many levels to the macaroon. The initial salvo in this campaign focused on the macaroon’s lack of substance compared to the complexity of the cupcake. The second described how the top of the cupcake is a venue for fun; a platform for play and exercising our creative spirits. (No such opportunity exists on any part of the macaroon)
Difference number 3: The Cupcake is a Metaphor for Life
Cupcakes are a metaphor for living a balanced life. It is the ultimate “Golden Ratio”. Two-thirds of the cupcake is the flour filled foundation. The substance of this tasty treat. The remaining third is the part we long for- the creamy smooth buttercream or chocolate satin frosting. Cupcakes are the perfect proportion -2/3 substance, 1/3 whimsey. Our lives should emulate this kind of balance.
Two-thirds of our time is generally spent in a responsibility mode. We work or attend school; parent our children and tend to aging parents; nourish ourselves and families; spend endless hours in the car; and, fulfill our altruistic obligations on boards and committees. Those activities comprise the “cake” part of our busy lives and are often quite delicious and satisfying. We love our kids; our careers help define us, we have a sense of meaning and purpose in the world.
It’s the one-third, however, we often long for- the icing on the cake, the delicious, and, on occasion even, decadent part. It’s the giggling with girlfriends part. It’s the romantic get away part. It’s the bike ride on a breezy, sunlit day. It’s the sweet spot.
Perhaps for some, the ratio becomes a little imbalanced. There are those who might lean toward the 50/50 ratio which could be reflected in their waistlines and wallets if they are overindulging and/or underperforming. Still others opt for the 90/10 ratio, substituting seriousness for sweetness, adopting the all work and no play model.
Thus, the cupcake is the ultimate symbol of the Golden Ratio for our lives. With changing medical and technological advances, we could live a long time. Finding the proper balance and proportion is essential to a well lived life. Can that be said of the macaroon? I think not.