When November rolls around, I am surprised by how little thought I’ve given to three distinct issues: Oh shit, I need to think about presents; Bing Crosby; and stuffing. Retailers go buck wild in the mad dash to erect holiday displays, leaving piles of shimmery flotsam and jetsam in their wakes. While you’re subtly reminded to buy presents, Bing Crosby pecks away at your conscious loathing of the holidays. Eventually, you drink the peppermint Kool-Aid, singing along with Bing, “…just likes the ones I used to know…”
Very few businesses succeed at inspiring holiday cheer as well as Starbucks. The ubiquitous PSLs, chestnut praline lattes (?), pumpkin everything, and the ultimate holiday sensation: The Cranberry Bliss bar with cream cheese frosting, resembling a flattened gingerbread house that buckled under a snow-covered roof. The most unexpected addition to Starbucks’s holiday collection is the Holiday Turkey & Stuffing Panini. Does this sound like a desperate attempt to cash in on holiday fever with a “half baked” panini? Well, shut the fuck up and listen.
The turkey & stuffing panini fires on all cylinders, satisfying a specific seasonal craving like no other—save for the full-blown Thanksgiving meal. The panini includes carved turkey, above-average stuffing (I know, right?) with all of the little Stove Top details (including chopped celery), turkey gravy, and cranberries. Surprisingly, this thing hit the spot.
I would order this year round if I could, and I heartily recommend this panini to all of you sad, lonely Starbucks Gold cardholders out there with nowhere to go this holiday season. This panini is a suitable approximation of the traditional holiday meal vibe, and you’ll never be alone as long as there’s a Starbucks.