The iconic dessert chain confirmed that it would be updating the name of its famous “Crack Pie” to “Milk Bar Pie” over concerns that the name was “getting in the way of letting the gooey, buttery slice bring happiness.”
Christina Tossi, the creator of the Crack Pie and the other decadent dessert offerings, announced the eponymous name change in a letter posted on the bakery’s public blog.
“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. Come by for a slice of pie, a corn cookie or just a friendly face — as it’s been since day one, our only mission is to inspire a little moment of joy in your day,” Tossi’s note read.
The bakery also included a longer statement to the Milk Bar team, writing the “name Crack Pie falls short of this mission” to “spread joy and inspire celebration.”
Several have come out against restaurants and food critics using the phrase “crack” to describe something addictively delicious, noting the term is particularly harmful to those struggling with addiction and to communities that have been affected by the crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s.
San Francisco Chronicle food critic, Soleil Ho, called out Milk Bar and its creator for its “Crack Pie.”
“Writers have called its creator, chef Christina Tosi, a “crack dealer” and used the language of addiction to describe the dish. Honestly, the company should have done the right thing and changed it by now,” Ho wrote.
Tosi is not the only one who faced increasing backlash over naming one of her offerings after the devastating drug.
Hopcat in Michigan announced it was rebranding its popular “Crack Fries” to a more neutral “Cosmik Fries.”
“We chose the name more than 11 years ago as a reference to the addictive quality of the fries and their cracked pepper seasoning, without consideration for those the drug negatively affected. We were wrong,” Mark Gray, BarFly Ventures CEO, said in a Dec. 10 blog post. “The crack epidemic and the lasting impact on those it affects is not funny and never was.”