Mar 28, 2011


SEATTLE, WA – Food on a stick appeals to our primal, bone-gnawing instincts, pop-culturists suggest. Finally! A way to make cake consumption more feral. Aside from exposing chocolate frosting to a swarm of seven-year-olds hopped up on birthday soda and candy...

Riddhi Shah explored handlemania in Salon last September. She unearthed strange stickchef offerings out there such as salad (Texas), deep-fried Hohos (Iowa) and hot dogs inside battered zucchini (the disturbingly named "Zucchini Weenie" from California's O.C. As if that county didn't have enough to answer for already...). Wisconsin, not to be outdone, weighs in with spaghetti, Irish stew and chocolate-covered bacon.

Galileo and Newton may have defined gravity's principles, but you spit in the face of all that science, stickchefs, not to mention good taste as most people know it. I salute you.

From spam to scorpions, if it's skewable someone has gleefully deep-fried it. Except for followers of Top Chef contestant Richard Blais. The creator of the "popcornsicle" prefers to freeze caramel- and cheese-flavored kernels with liquid nitrogen.

In light of all this, my friend Marie's Dik-Dik On A Stik franchise concept probably would take off. Pity she's too busy in Mauritania, as she circles the world again.

Here in Ballard, Seattle, we keep things simple. The odd kebab. The humble corndog. Maybe some home-made ginger-green-tea popsicles in summer.

So Starsucks' "cake pop" kinda shook things up. And yet, the confection itself remains unshakeable. Thanks to a chocolate double-dip technique, the lollipop survived a half-mile walk to the Ballard Locks. Unfortunately, taste-wise, it didn't merit this – or indeed any – pilgrimage, I'm told...

Cakpop at the Ballard Locks, Seattle, WA. All images copyright


  1. Well, this is too cool, I've yet to see this Starbucks confection "CakePop" down here in PDX. Chocolate double-dip? Yum.

  2. I spotted 'em in Salt Lake City too, so it's only a matter of time in Portland! Just don't look at the calorie count: it's INSANE for what's basically a big mouthful of food!

  3. I told you this, and I'm telling you again: that second photo is a good, good one! :-)

  4. That's a huge compliment coming from such a talent photog as you, V! I had no idea I'd worked the negative space until you pointed it out (though the shape-echo was conscious, at least).

    I have so much to learn and (annoyingly) relearn. I love being around inspiring shooters like you to speed the process along.


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