What started as an exciting hunt for my new favorite treat quickly turned to a frantic search and rescue. Navigating the narrow aisles of this little market, I nearly collided with the bevy of human obstacles that littered my path. I would have mowed down anyone standing in the way of my newly discovered golden caramel waffle cookies.
Sating my sweet tooth is a means of survival for me. The intensity of my sugary addiction is a factor in the decisions I make throughout my day; whether or not to make that latte a mocha, whether or not to be late meeting a friend because there was a new ice cream place I hadn’t tried yet, and whether or not to eat dessert for dinner. To put it simply, I would definitely take candy from a baby.
At Market Hall, on College Avenue in Oakland, you have to take a number and wait awhile during the mid-day rush unique to this neighborhood of (mostly) retired citizens shopping for the freshest and most unique groceries. Though the wait can test your patience, it’s also the perfect opportunity to stroll the aisles and scour the thirty kinds of olive oils or truffle salts. December is an especially good month to hunt for your newest find because the market is decorated with holiday displays showing off international Christmas treats. Just two weeks before, I had been on such a hunt and discovered La Dunkerquoise salted caramel waffles. These dime-thin, sugar masterpieces were the scratch to my every itch. This was chip meets waffle. But this was nothing, NOTHING compared to my Ponce de Leon-type discovery of these as ice cream toppings. The product of these waffles, sprinkled delicately over that saccharine cream, was my personal holy grail. The caramel crunch met the smooth icy texture to release every molecule of dopamine my brain could produce. These were my new favorite drug. They didn’t last long as I began extensive research creating other sugary recipes. As such, the panic that washed over me as I searched for them the following week, hit harder than a tsunami. They were gone. I went through every stage of grief. Denial that they were actually gone and attempting to reason that they must of been placed on a different display. Anger at the store for getting me hooked and then running out of supplies. Bargaining with ‘God’ by promising I would cut back on sugar if only I could taste these one last time. Depression over the realization that these were really gone, and could very well never be found again. Before I could fully realize acceptance, two words came to me: online shopping.
Soon after my initial search I was hit with two of the most feared words: sold out. Of course they were sold out, I wanted them more than cable. Murphy’s Law being what it is, I started to finally move into full blown acceptance. That is until a follow-up search found a website that had a few more in stock. So, what do you do when presented with this kind of miracle? Order six boxes. “The order has been packed and is ready to ship but we need to confirm that you placed this order,” read a skeptical email from the seller. No one at GourmetBoutique.com could believe one person actually ordered six boxes. I assured them that I had, in fact, ordered six boxes knowing full well that if I had to have this interaction in person I would have been unable to look them in the eye.
The day my package arrived, I tore open the box with the manic anticipation of a meth addict. There they were in their full orange-boxed glory. I happily opened the first box and bit down on what was supposed to be that delectable crunch. Instead, I was met with a soft, flaccid sponge. They were under-baked. After all the mental anguish and eager anticipation, I was met with six boxes of a bad batch. I cannot remember being more disappointed about anything. I was completely deflated. I felt bad for ever cursing Market Hall for not restocking. It was then I realized the power my sweet tooth held. It demanded a quality that only a boutique grocery store could offer and only the internet could ruin.