by Jake Fraser, staff writer
From 8 until 10 p.m. last Friday night, amongst Sage circle’s relentless “Wagon Wheel” renditions, copious production of smoke, and alcohol consumption, Sage Cafe offered a “tasteful” interlude: “Cookie Tasting”—a $2 all-you-can-eat eclectic buffet of cookies, cakes, treats and apple-blanketed pizza, paired with the exclusive “WWC Night Owl” blend of coffee by Dynamite Roasting.
“Cookie Tasting” was created as a way for the community to collectively decide on three baked goods to offer in Sage Cafe consistently: a “Sage Staple.” Sage Cafe crew members put forth their best creations to be evaluated; a total of over fourteen cookies, breads, bars, and pizza were initially baked.
Those who attended the event were first invited to graze on the self-serve, cookie topped tables littering the room. Attendees were then asked to partake in a vote for three choice baked items based simply on how much the sampler enjoyed the item. The votes were then counted, and an announcement of the winners followed several days later: Vegan Baklava, Danish Butter Balls, and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Rolls.
Some factors to the voting may have played into the voting process. Halfway through the event, some of the desserts had been completely devoured and then ceased to draw votes. The first desserts to get completely eaten could likely have been the best tasting, but had the smallest time and opportunity to accumulate votes; the desserts that never ran out could have likely been the poorest tasting, yet had the longest time and resulting opportunity to accumulate votes.
“[The cookie tasting] was awesome, they were all so good,” Allen Salazar said.
Sage Cafe strives to provide vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. The winning dessert was stipulated to be vegan; if a non-vegan dessert won, the next popular vegan choice would be included as a second winner. According to Sage crew boss, Tiger Martinez, many of the café’s options are vegan and gluten free.
“Recently, because so many crew members have been choosing to bake vegan and gluten-free goods, we have had to ask them to bake more regular stuff,” he said. “But I think it’s awesome we know how to bake so many vegan items.”
Of the fourteen dessert options prepared, ten were either gluten-free or vegan, two of which were both. Only four options were not vegan or gluten free. Sage Cafe’s recent vegan and gluten-free trend has had mixed reception.
“There’s no good cookies in Sage tonight, they’re all cursed with vegan hippie nature magic,” Addey Weener said.
However, others praise the Cafe for using ingredients that are mostly organic, and for providing students with vegan and gluten-free options. Even basic ingredients like sugar and flour are organic, according to Martinez.
After the winning cookie was chosen, it will be integrated into the Sage menu, as a regular choice alongside the paninis.
“We want to have a good consistent baked goods that people will remember and come back for,” Martinez said.
The addition of a three new “Sage Staples,” is one of a few changes Sage. An induction burner is needed to make the vegan baklava, and will allow for things like soup. In around a month, Sage will be offering fresh organic fruit smoothies. Mochas and other espresso drinks, will be an upcoming addition to the Sage Cafe Menu as well.