“I want that,” I’d say. “The Pig’s Dinner.”
“No, you will not have the Pig’s Dinner,” my mother invariably replied, and though we were a Jewish family, religious restrictions were not the problem. (Anyway, pastry chefs had yet to come up with the entertaining idea of adding bacon to ice cream.) “You may have a chocolate sundae.”
Hardly abusive, you might think, and in my more rational moments I must agree, but I have to think my obsession with desserts, barely diminished from childhood, results from excessive denial in those early days: “Three cookies is enough.”… “You don’t need whipped cream on everything.”… I might not have endured those years of deprivation had I not been encouraged to pour heavy cream on my sugared cereal, then considered nutritionally desirable.
All of us are incessantly being told that food should be local, but desserts are adolescent. They are a way of life—the life you led before you made rational (and often boring) decisions about what was best for you to eat. The world of sweetness is a fantasyland where the basic desires of childhood are satisfied, provided one is mentally strong enough to ignore lingering parental admonitions and physically sound enough to laugh at contemporary medical cautions.
Diners who live for the pleasure of main courses might fret over the fat content of their cream sauces, but they face far fewer crises than dessert eaters (unless they’re morally conflicted by foie gras). Desserts are exquisitely torturous to those of us who know our health is better served if we do without them, and we envy those who have the constitutions (and blood workups) that enable them to indulge without guilt.
Last night, while browsing the newest Gisele-covered issue of GQ, I ran across the previous article and for some reason couldn't put it down. I guess, as a psuedo beer writer, something about the way the author painted the entire picture grabbed me. I particularly enjoyed the passage above - particularly "The world of sweetness is a fantasyland where the basic desires of childhood are satisfied, provided one is mentally strong enough to ignore lingering parental admonitions and physically sound enough to laugh at contemporary medical cautions". BINGO.
I guess maybe that's common sense, but it never occurred to me before.
Anyway, I then showed the article to Gina, who just shrugged it off.