Last week Allison Robicelli, the straight talking co-owner of Robicelli’s Bakery, called out the media for circling like gleeful vultures over the twitching corpse of Crumbs Bake Shop. In a scathing comment for First We Feast, she flayed foodies and bloggers for being too focused on trends and hype:
But ask and you shall satirically receive. Today, Robicelli’s officially announced its Jump the Shark Summer campaign. Every weekend the bakery will put out some limited edition, social media frenzy inducing, contrived stunt of a dessert. Robicelli’s has magnanimously decided to give the people what they want, while being savvy enough to know that what we want is to wait in line for hours to buy something that we can post on social media with the caption “WANT OMFG (drool) (dead).”
The first Frankenfood we’re about to all be tweeting is the vaffelcake, which will go on sale at 10am this Saturday (unless it doesn’t, because that would be even more WTF-worthy). According to Robicelli, the vaffelcake is comprised of stacked Norwegian waffles spread with sour cream custard and covered with burnt sugar—but more importantly, it’s expressly Instagrammable.
So are we collectively going to buy into something that’s made to be viral, or do we have more dignity and intelligence than that? If we line up for vaffelcake in two days, can we pretend we’re laughing with Robicelli’s at ourselves in ironic self-deprecation? Is irony so over that it’s subversively okay again? And can I please have the answer to that question in listicle form?
Here’s the full Robicelli’s announcement, for your viewing pleasure:
In the past week, we’ve seen cupcakes die their final, Jacob-Marley-dead-as-a-doornail death. It’s was horribly gruesome to watch, even though the press was cheering on the destruction of over 800 people’s jobs like they were watching a goring at a bullfight.
Then the next day, cupcakes were back and fine. Not Jacob Marley back—more like Jack Bauer dead. Or maybe they’re mostly dead, but just pretending to be back, like Weekend at Bernie’s.
Point is we have a business to run and NONE OF US CAN BE SURE. You can’t be entering a dead horse into the races! Just because cupcakes are now the next cupcakes doesn’t mean anything. Look how the Cronut snuck up on all of us last summer and suddenly, none of us had time to spend with our loved ones because we all had to wait on line for dessert. I’ve been fielding questions from the peanut gallery for months as to when we were going to make the “next big dessert”, because cronuts/doughnuts/macaroons/cake pops/cupcakes were not enough. We need new things to wait in line for.
We started making a killer pie, with our chocolate cream being called one of the top desserts in town by Zagat. But like the idiots we are, we forgot pie was so 2010, and seems unlikely for a comeback, no matter how badly we want to be the Cream Pie Captial of New York City. So while we sell a good amount of it, there’s been no infographics about the ascent of cream pie, which is sad because there’s really a lot of quality comedic potential there.
We make cookies, too! Really good ones, like a sweet corn and freeze dried blueberry that tastes like the toasty muffins my mom used to make me for breakfast, or our chocolate chip cookie that can suck up milk like a Hoover without falling apart. Alas, our mistake was making our cookies cookie-shaped. Or maybe it was because they’re not electric pink, or have an interesting ethnic backstory, or made with some sneaky ingredient like kale purée.
Cookies are the strippers of post-Guliani New York. You gotta have a gimmick. Being delicious is just not enough for sites to get page views.
We’re aware of the symbiotic relationship we have, internet. We want customers to come into our shop, visit one of our retail partners, or place a delivery order for delicious treats, in exchange give us money that we can, in turn, spend on things like rent and food.
You want crazy bananas things you can post on Instagram and tweet, then crosspost to your “15 things that are the New Cupcake this week” listicle, so Proctor & Gamble can pay you craptons of money to run ads that I’ll just skip in three seconds.
This is a pretty solid system we’ve built here. The internet is the thing that made us, and we’re happy to be a part of the machine. So, if you guys need page views, well, then we’ve got your back.
This Saturday begins:
That’s right foodies, and the significant others of foodies who begrudgingly get dragged along! We are dedicating every weekend this summer to getting even MORE intense. There will be no “wow, this cake is really delicious exactly how it is!” Oh HELL no! Why settle for just plain ol’ cake, when we can hybridize it with a whole bunch of things. Maybe make the cake with duck fat, stuff it inside a doughnut, deep fry the f*** out of it, then coat it in some sort of bacon Sriracha and locally-foraged mango glaze, or some equally intense stuff. Then you put it online with the caption “WANT OMFG (drool) (dead)”.
This is what we in the industry call “whimsy”. And we want you all to whimsy so hard that your junk falls off.
This Saturday we begin with our first bombastic creation: vaffelcake. We’re making Norwegian waffles, spreading them with a sour cream custard, stacking them into a pile, covering it with burnt sugar, and then serving it by the slice with a darling spot of preserves.
How much of this are we making? Not nearly enough to satiate off of New York city’s carnal waffle desires. We invite you to come down if you’re in the area, grab a slice, and Instagram it outside. We did build the shop in a spot with the best view in Brooklyn for just this reason. (And also because it’s close to our apartment).
Everyone is winning here.