Leave it to a pastry chef to get on the soapbox to convince you about why you NEED dessert. But actually, we don't need dessert, what we need is sweet.
Our tastebuds are comprised of thousands of villi all over our tongues (all those bumps). They reproduce roughly every two weeks and as we age, not all of them replicate so our sense of taste can diminish over time. Our taste buds (and our sense of smell) actually help our bodies prepare for digestion. When we smell and take our first bites of food it triggers saliva which helps us in digestion. Bitter, sour, salty, sweet and umami are the tastes we are able to process, as well as their degree. So could you imagine taking any of those out of the equation? How would a person be able to process any of the others?
Each taste we can process comes with a degree of dislike or pleasure. In all tastes and flavors there can be too little of too much of anything. The reaction can be so great that it can illicit a full body response! Think of the last awesome and horrible things you've eaten. Did you smile, light up, or voice absolute pleasure? Did you spit the food out, cringe with your face and whole body or shake your head?
Sweet is a very important taste construct in my business but also in my life. Sweet can symbolize a celebration, a job well done, a private happy moment or add some pleasure at the end of a really rough day. However, I also believe that the kinds of sweets, and for that matter any food, we choose is paramount, not only the reaction you will have to the food but also how it works in our bodies for optimal health. Now don't get me wrong here, sugar is not a health food, that's not what I'm saying. Even the sugars glamorized by the health food industry can be damaging to the body in large quantities. But sugar and sweet are a part of life's great journey. So choose sugar and desserts well and wisely. Organic and non-gmo, minimally processed from artisans who hand craft. Not only will these treats be better for you, they also really satisfy because they are not full of preservatives and fake ingredients.
Indulge Mindfully, Heather K. Terry