Apparently Starbucks hasn't abandoned its in-store ovens, which Howard Schultz said it would do in one of the many interviews he's given about how to bring earnings back and as I among others have called for (the smell of those weird hot sandwiches).

Price points can't be ignored, and evidently the big per-store investments in those bulky steel ovens can't be either. So there's a new sandwich, with a $3.95 price tag that's supposed to change people's minds about $4 just being for lattes -- and coffee in the bargain.

More relevant, there's this helpful consideration of how to avoid those sausage smells getting in the way of coffee, as Schultz had hearteningly said he wanted to do -- customers should only smell coffee, he said, and he was right: add Parmesan to the eggs.

Starbucks's food scientists mixed Parmesan cheese with the egg to prevent the smell from seeping into the stores and overwhelming the smell of coffee.

I welcome any new use of the one irreplaceable cheese, and have a sinking feeling that Starbucks isn't using Parmigiano-Reggiano, which could help the cheese consortium's own underwater problems. But the king of cheese as an egg deodorizer rather than what I know it as, an ideal egg enhancer? Smells funny to me.

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