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Read This: The romantic torment behind the world’s best recipe comment

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Recipe comments are a wild world that bounces between the mundane (ingredient tweaks; quality feedback) to the unexpectedly revealing (details of spousal dietary preferences; family sizes). The best, like a brief paragraph left years ago on Katharine Hepburn’s New York Times-published brownie recipe, shows the true potential of the form.

A tantalizing hint at a larger tale, only slightly longer than the famous “six-word story,” it’s best read in full, as quoted from a Times article on historic internet comments:

“This has been my go-to brownie recipe for 30 years,” wrote Sydne Newberry. “In the ’80s, an acquaintance in Germany to whom I brought some of the brownies, and who considered herself a great cook, asked for the recipe but was never able to get it to work. She kept asking me what she was doing wrong and I was never able to solve her problem. Eventually, she moved to the U.S. and stole my husband!” 


Now, years after Newberry left readers with that portentous final line, The Cut’s Gabriella Paiella reached out to the comment’s author and has returned with the rest of the story.

Newberry, who now lives in Los Angeles, reveals that the famous acquaintance from her days in Germany was “a gorgeous Italian woman who was very proud of her cooking and was a real food snob.” The two were nevertheless acquaintances, and they went back and forth about the brownie recipe, with the Italian woman accusing Newberry of holding out key ingredients that prevented her from achieving the recipe’s true potential. After Newberry and her husband returned to America, the acquaintance came to visit, at which point the affair began. After Newberry found out, she ditched the dude and married someone who, in a strange twist of fate, believed he was allergic to eggs for years and so couldn’t enjoy the Brownies Of Destiny.

It is, in other words, the original notorious comment, only now with more details, and a happy ending fit for an uncommonly dessert-focused Shakespearean comedy. Read the full story at The Cut to witness the end of the saga for yourself. 

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.