This Week’s Cartoon: “Snack Gentrification”

In Seattle there’s a bakery called Cupcake Royale, which I suppose planted the seed for this cartoon. It seems the Pacific Northwest is positively exploding with artisinal doughnuts, hamburgers, etc. Not that I’m complaining, really. The trend of gourmet “lowbrow” food just strikes me as an interesting cultural phenomenon. It’s similar to the hipster embrace of Pabst Blue Ribbon, except that unlike PBR, gourmet cupcakes don’t taste like skunk butt. At least, I assume they don’t; I’ve never actually tried a gourmet cupcake or a skunk butt.

I’m not sure how this happened, but the peepmaster in the fourth panel came out looking eerily like Trey Anastasio. Am I right or am I right?


  • Sarah Culpeper

    I still feel bitter about the cupcake explosion because I liked cupcakes BEFORE they were Cupcakes. But. I also feel bitter about people who say they liked _____ before _____ , so I will shut up.

  • Jen Sorensen

    Cupcakes with a capital “C” — I like that.

  • Library Lady

    The micropeeps are cute! I have never understood how they qualify as a food item, but I bet some people would buy those even so.

  • GG

    “The Menu: One Entree. That’s It.”

    Artisinal … everything. But just ONE thing.

  • Elmore

    Gourmet Cupcakes have made their way from cutting-edge-trendy Seattle to podunk backwater Memfiss, Tenny-see. My mom brought some to a family get-together this past weekend. Got to say they were pretty darn good.

  • Jen Sorensen

    @Library Lady: Thanks!

    @GG: Wow, I hadn’t seen that article. Interesting coincidence. I forgot about Mac-n-Cheese!

    @Elmore: Given how much complaining I do about the Walmart-ization of everything, I can’t really criticize the Cupcakes. I’ll take them over industrial cupcakes anyday.

  • Tom Schmidt

    Talk about hipster. On the “Cupcake Royale” website, they have a cupcake called the “Royale with Cheese”. Ugh …. I can only take so much hipster doofus.

  • Quiddity

    I like the fellow in the 3rd panel inspecting a corn nut with (what appears to be) a loupe.

  • Jen Sorensen

    Always glad when readers notice the little details!

  • Quiddity

    Those details sometimes are the biggest laughs. One of my favorites is from 2007:

    Pop Culture Periscope: Pixelated Presents (aka Virtual Gifts)

    The guy in the background of the second panel perfectly captures the much hyped “computer geeks just play around and create impressive software” theme. I am in software, and it’s nothing like that.

  • Jen Sorensen

    @Quiddity – Surely you ride a scooter, at least, and play foosball while brainstorming!

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.