Tuesday, April 16, 2019

At Milk Bar, a new name for the Crack Pie

[Image via Milk Bar]

The East Village-based dessert spot Milk Bar has changed the name of its most-popular item.

Founder Christina Tosi made the announcement yesterday:

We’ve made the decision to stop using the name Crack Pie. Starting today, it will be known as Milk Bar Pie. Below, I’m sharing the note I sent to the Milk Bar team. The fact of the matter is, anyone who visits this website or our stores or our social media is our family too, and we listen to what you have to say.

While change is never easy, we feel this is the right decision. Not everything will happen at once - the next few weeks and months will be a transition period. Your support means everything to us and if you have feelings or questions about it, we’re always here.

The name switcheroo comes less than a month after Boston Globe food scribe Devra First wrote a column titled "There’s nothing cute about crack pie" following the opening of a Milk Bar in Cambridge, Mass.

As she wrote about the tone-deaf name:

If it seemed funny a decade ago to name a dessert after an addictive drug, the joke was one of privilege. The crack epidemic of the 1980s hurt largely poor, largely black communities, not the people who were heading to the East Village to spend $5 on a slice of pie (the price has since gone up to $6).

Chris Crowley at Grub Street made a similar case back in December about the use of "crack" to describe foods.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Food for thought: Milk Bar's Crack Pie is not a cute name, critic says


Brian said...

Live and learn. They have a good brand. I find the design of their products and packaging quite alluring. I found their neon Milk Bar sign on Eighth Avenue transfixing and have been trying to figure out why. The connotation is of a "bar" serving milk instead of alcohol? Is that any different than a soda foundation of yesteryear? Are sugary baked treats downed with a glass of sugary milk in a delightful all age bar like setting the intent? Is it to bring a sophisticated mature twist on cookies and milk? Breakfast cereals and milk? Is it any less crass analogy than crack pie? Is the wholesome "Milk" moniker a ruse to induce you to consume lots of sugar (the crack of food)? Or is it just a fun bakery with some style?

Giovanni said...

This really cracks me up.

noble neolani said...

Now let's get 13th Step to change their asinine name.

Anonymous said...

This is all good and fine, and I'm sure the crack addicts (former and current) and the families of people affected by the crack epidemic are just SOOOOOOOOOO relieved that Milk Bar decided to change their stupid pie name. I'm sure that was a BIG weight off their shoulders....

Now, if only everyone would get as up in arms about the toxification of our earth and the corporatization of the our society, instead of raising a stink about relatively insignificant issues like offending people because of a corny analogy...

Sarah said...

On the one hand, I don't think the harm done by the name was great. On the other, the harm done by changing it is basically none, so why not?

Anonymous said...

This is the most embarrassing slacktivism the internet's ever engaged in, and the slob from Boston.com who started this deserves all the ridicule she'll get. This is simultaneously an empty gesture and a "OK cool...we changed it." Now how about getting involved in a protest to help the lives of prisoners who engaged in non-violent crimes.