Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Can Only Stomach so Much Sweetness

Growing up, my parents limited the amount of sugar my brother and I were allowed—to the point that I was quite jealous of friends and classmates that always seemed surrounded by sweet options. Everyone else had the sugary, frosted and chocolate-filled cereals at home (when the sweetest cereal my brother and I got was Kix…if we were lucky). And at lunch it was no better, there were no Twinkies or Ding-Dongs or Little Debbie Snacks for me in my lunchbox. No, if I had any “desserts” it would be 100% real fruit leather (rather than the more popular yet less nutritious Fruit Roll-Ups that I would’ve rather had). And forget about soda pop. That was a luxury that I could only dream about.

My sugar deprivation was sated by going to friends houses and feasting on those sugary cereals or sweet snack cakes that were such a novelty to me; every time it was like having a mini sugar binge. Yet, perhaps my overall lack of sugar at a young age made my threshold for sugar less than the average person. Even as a kid, eating Pop-Tarts at a friend’s house seemed like a difficult task for me. (Yes, I chose the frosted Pop-Tarts, which in retrospect was probably a mistake since the regular ones are already quite sweet.) I just recall that after I ate the first one I wasn’t eager to eat the second one in the package because I’d already reached my sugar limit.

Now that I’m older I’m glad I wasn’t laden with sweets. A little sweetness goes a long way with me. And most typical low-end American sweets are too sweet for me. I don’t crave candy bars, doughnuts, fruity sweetened teas or sheet cake with that sickly sweet frosting. That’s not to say I don’t like sweet things like dark chocolate, chocolate chip cookies and ice cream—but I don’t want them to be too sweet. Thus, I’m generally more inclined to enjoy Asian low-end sweets since they tend be less sweet—which is sometimes bad because then it’s just easier to eat more of it. [Sigh.]

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