"¢ Possibly derived from the Love German "muffe" or the Old French "moflet," this "soft tender," "little cake" lives up to its storied origins. Frank Zappa loves muffins so much he called his in-house recording studio the "Utility Muffin Research Kitchen," and named one of his children Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen Zappa.

"¢Â To knife or not to knife? That is the question - and Miss Manners has the answer ... sort of. As she tells it, bread may be broken any way deemed necessary at the scene, although one English muffins are indeed cut horizontally whilst other muffins remain vertically cut apart.

"¢ Muffins have leant their name to the wrong side of fashion. The New York Times' William Safire comments on the term "muffin top" as meaning "the unsightly roll of flesh that spills over the waist of a pair of too-tight pants." (I hope you weren't eating a muffin as you contemplated this scene). Discussion of the muffin-top can be lucrative for the weight-loss business as well. The UK's Daily Express even claims half of British women have fallen victim to these bodily rolls.

"¢ Of course, Seinfeld made the concept of the muffin top versus the muffin stump popular. "Top of the Muffin to you!"

"¢ Political muffins: The apple muffin is indeed the state muffin of New York. Congressmen and politicians take note! The bill was passed after children were sent to the Assembly with plates full of muffins. Who can say no to that?

"¢ However, a decade later one lawmaker humorously tried to introduce the potato as the state vegetable. An elderly colleague accused him of making a mockery of the debate, to which the lawmaker responded, "'Sir, we are debating the state vegetable, not the state fossil.'' Finally assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried stood up against the inclusion of any more state insects, state beverages and the like by saying "'enough of this stupidity!"

"¢ Can muffins make dreams come true, and lead to everlasting happiness? 1-800-Muffins is offering a promotion where you can win an engagement ring. Who? What? Why? Go with it.

"¢ Too lazy to make actual muffins? Buy some muffin cereal instead!

"¢ Meet the Cosmic Muffin - a boat that was once an airplane. One of Howard Hughes' former planes was converted into a floating bachelor pad.

***

How do you all best enjoy your muffins? Any intriguing ingredients to share?

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.