by jemma margaret
As you might have guessed from my heart post (and also, from the fact that if you’re reading this we are probably related), I’ve managed to score some pretty good genes (jeans, on the other hand, not so much). Sure, I have to deal with being totally asymmetric, myopic, and cold nosed, but on the flip side there isn’t much history of hereditary disease in my bloodline. My ancestors inform me that out of all those big scary incurable ailments out there, the one that I might need to fear is diabetes. But frankly, shouldn’t we all be a little bit wary of too many sweets?
Now that all the Halloween treats are safely devoured (or being doled out one by one in order of least to most favorite as I did as a (frankly somewhat insane) child), and before the Christmas cookies roll out the oven (as an eyeball on the floor?), let me share a few extremely judgmental remarks that bear little relation to one another except for C12H22O11.
First, I find perverse fascination in people who put obscene amounts of sugar in their coffee or tea. It is, I imagine, the way some people like to watch boxing. Is she really going to put in another spoonful? Oh my god! That’s incredible! Ladies and gentlemen we have a one-to-one ratio!
Along the same lines, I had no idea that adults still ate fruit candies until I met some in the mathematics department in Vancouver. I thought this was something like Santa Claus that we grew out of when we moved on to cocktails as a different brightly colored temptation. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing?
I have a secret fondness for condensed milk, which by the way totally mitigates my above statement about sugar in tea. My former roommate, one of the lovers of candy, detested the stuff because when she was a child in Jamaica there was fresh milk and so she had to use the sweetened, syrupy version in her cereal.
A few weeks ago, I had dinner with my dentist and his wife and we all shared dessert (tiramisu). Felt like a total rebel.
Umm, isn’t this blog supposed to be about Paris? Well, so let’s try to tie that in, shall we?
Insignificant circumstantial evidence leads me to conclude that despite the gorgeous proliferation of sweets over here, there is a real big fear of sugar. People are often saying, oh I shouldn’t and not too sweet and none for me thank you. I keep trying to offer to make dessert for my roommate’s frequent dinner parties, and she keeps slyly avoiding to tell me in advance. Sometimes they only have cheese for dessert. Although, if you know the cheeses here you know that is no sacrifice. Economics is at play too. As I’ve discussed elsewhere, the cost of candies are prohibitive. Sodas aren’t expensive, but they aren’t cheaper than wine. Sweetened yogurts come in teeny tiny packets and all food advertisements contain surgeon general warnings.
Ah, but, dear reader, despite this French phenomenon and my natural ambivalence I will prevail! After all, I have said that I will try to find the best of Paris and I am a person of my word (sometimes) and the best of Paris is so often rather sweet. No, I am not talking about the locks of love, but the cannelles (are they really crisp on the outside and underdone on the inside?), the madeleines (I have a feeling that good ones exist, somewhere), the whiskey caramel marshmallows* (take THAT hot chocolate), and the various wintery surprises that are only now coming out of the woodworks. As hard as it might be for my genes (and my jeans), I will make more of an effort in this department (instead of telling you about the conference cookies in Germany).
*Tried one yesterday. Blech! Tasted like peat moss.