We went to a buffet this weekend at Foxwoods. If my six-year-old had his way, he would have stuck his face under the spigot of the soft-serve ice cream machine and pulled the trigger. Subsequently pouring a few spoonfuls of sprinkles, chocolate chips and chocolate syrup into his mouth to top it all off. Which I would have had to follow with a shot of insulin for the diabetes that he would have no doubt induced.
Fortunately I limited his sugar intake to only a bowl. I will add though that his dinner consumption hardly warranted a buffet. Now my other son, ate a good dinner and a modest desert (only one helping of ice-cream and a brownie).
What is it about sugar that we are so fascinated with? I would claim it’s a childhood thing, but then I would just go home and have a bowl of Breyer’s mint chocolate chip with a couple of Oreos and I would be a liar.
Believe it or not, sugar is not a natural part of our diet. On the contrary, the only time our ancestors (and I am talking thousands of years ago, not centuries) ever ate sugar was through the eating of fruit. So how have we become so hooked on the culinary ecstasy?
Sugar was not always plentiful and many cultures have used honey or maple syrup as sweeteners Sugarcane is actually native plant of the tropical southern Asia continent, many varieties came from the Indian subcontinent and were later grown to adapt to other regions of the world.
Primarily sugar was a luxury before the 18th century and later became popular in 19th century becoming a staple of normal cuisine. The purification of sugar and desire for the sweet confectionery products that could be produced spurred an entire economic development around the product and brought about our favorite meal – dessert!
Today our world produces on average 168 million metric tons of the delicious substance. You may find it funny that despite this entire article, I am actually more of a savory person than a sweet person. I’ll trade salt and vinegar chips any day over candy but would have a difficult time giving up my ice cream.
How about you? What is your favorite confection?