A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

the stay-fresh muffin: long-lived Lebanese pastries

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on October 17, 2007

On Monday evening I met K for an after-work coffee at the Hamra Costa, which is roughly midway between us. Feeling a sudden urge for something sweet, I picked up one of the pre-packaged muffins that Costa sells. I’ve had them before – they’re chewy, fresh-tasting and quite good.

While waiting for K, however, I had ample time to inspect my muffin further.

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Do you see the packed on / expires by dates?

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Yes – that’s right. My muffin appears to have been packaged the day before Ramadan began, and it expires on the seven-year anniversary of September 11. I.e., its good for 364 days.

Of course, I don’t actually believe that this muffin was meant to last a year – and when I tasted it, it tasted far too fresh to be one month old.

What I think is that the date stamper is off. And what I am now worrying about is whether the tangy taste of my yogurt means that its company’s date stamper is also off. And my milk. And all the other time-sensitive foods I buy here.

A number of recent articles on the Lebanese economy have focused on the fact that Lebanese exports to the EU are restricted because they do not meet EU standards. Judging by my muffin, I can see why the EU is concerned.

2 Responses to “the stay-fresh muffin: long-lived Lebanese pastries”

  1. S. Worthen said

    This is a muffin that’s meant to taste fresh for a whole year. I suspect the date stamper is actually correct, and your taste buds are being led astray by the power of preservatives.

  2. oh – horrors! really?? and the plastic wasn’t that strong, either – i.e. I imagine some air seeps back and forth. So there must have been a LOT of preservatives in my “fresh” muffin.

    guess I’ll have to find another munchie to satisfy my sweet tooth!

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