Maybe there’s a Reddit forum I’m just not aware of, but in my humble opinion, there isn’t nearly enough Goop Discourse. And I’m not referring to Gwyneth Paltrow’s yoni eggs, about which there is obviously a turmeric-stained volume of hot takes. I’m talking about the transcendent texture of food and food-safe-chemicals that I call “goop.”
Viscous, saccharine, and best eaten with a spoon, goop is not something publicly discussed, probably because it conjures up Bridget Jones, pounding a tub of ice cream and drinking red wine alone. Pathetic, some viewers think. Ice cream isn’t a real meal. Her charmingly British teeth will rot and crumble. Now, back to my bone marrow broth.
As someone who has canceled dates because I got too hopped up on Nutella, I am sympathetic to Ms. Jones’ plight. Because honestly, eating goop is the best way to exercise your complete independence. It’s something you can really only do right when you’re alone, with goop you’ve acquired on your own dime. And if you’re going to eat goop, you may as well eat the best goop: Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip Frosting.
There is a delicate balance to a good spoonful of goop; something like honey is tricky, slippery and sticky; on the other hand, raw brownie batter is not only a salmonella risk, but too complicated and time-consuming for the end goal of goop-eating. The perfect goop should be so thick that it sticks to your spoon (ideal for casual licks as you’re watching that documentary about Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy); perhaps equally important is the ideal balance of sugariness, creaminess, and the awareness of what food market researcher Howard Moskowitz calls “the bliss point”—the salty-sweet fattiness that makes snacks like Ben & Jerry’s and Doritos so insanely cravable.
Though there are a few worthy contenders here (Nutella, marshmallow fluff—call me), there’s a monotony to their textures, a kind of sluggishness in their sameness. But with a generous handful of “rainbow chips,” the complexity of Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip Frosting is practically engineered to be eaten plain. The jar has a suggestion: ”One tub frosts: 24 to 32 cupcakes.” I read it and laugh to myself ( A diversion. How cute.) and sink my teeth into a swirl of off-white goop heaven.
Customers were getting desperate—there were hopeful knockoff recipes involving pure white chocolate and “salt to taste” (breaking the sacred rule that goop must be effortless); on eBay, one jar could purportedly fetch up to $48.
As my stomach makes a rebellious moaning sound, upset with me for following my cold brew with a straight shot of sugar and palm oil, I take comfort in the fact that I am hardly alone in my love for Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip Frosting. But as Joni Mitchell (who has not, to my knowledge, ever directly endorsed BCRCF) once sang, “You don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.” In 2013, to much dismay, Betty Crocker removed the frosting from its lineup. In a helpful FAQ on its site, the company explains that it was discontinued “because we believed that consumers wanted the chips on top, not in the frosting.” What the hell, Betty? Did we ask for a Funfetti knockoff? Because I can direct you to some strongly worded blogs that suggest otherwise.
In any event, hoards of Rainbow Chip fans, once quietly complacent with the state of Big Frosting, revolted. A Facebook page was created, “Bring back Rainbow Chip Frosting,” which quickly amassed over 16,000 members, united in their anger and confusion at Betty Crocker’s betrayal. Even Katy Perry, who at best is a human embodiment of Rainbow Chip frosting, tweeted in fury: “WHAT DA HECK AM I SUPPOSED 2 PUT ON MY FUNFETTI CAKE? HOW CAN I TURN 30 NOW?” Please, Betty: Max Martin is locked in a mansion in Hollywood Hills, and Katy will not set him free until she can celebrate with your immaculate Rainbow Chip Frosting. Customers were getting desperate—there were hopeful knockoff recipes involving pure white chocolate and “salt to taste” (breaking the sacred rule that goop must be effortless); on eBay, one jar could purportedly fetch up to $48. The perfect birthday cake, it seemed, was a luxury not even Katy Perry could afford.
After two years, Betty Crocker buckled under the pressure of thousands of Angry People Online: “We hear you, Rainbow Chip fanatics!” the company said when it reintroduced the product in 2015. But even today, it is a rare gem, at least in my corner of central Brooklyn. After searching to no avail at my slew of local bodegas, I was forced to trudge to a legitimate Grocery Store to find my sweetest taboo. Hidden between jars of kombucha and packages of firm silken tofu, as to appear Normal and Very Brooklyn, Rainbow Chip adds another $4 to my balance sheet.
“Baking 24 to 32 cupcakes,” I lie, pointlessly.