by Madeleine Brown
Yes, it’s true I have many opinions—particularly when it comes to food. However, in my (long) list of just how you should satisfy your hunger, dessert must be in the top three. It’s a dirty word, I know. And, why?!
As a child during the summertime, my father and I ventured out every morning to museums, parks and toy stores. Each of these outings always included something sweet—be it a cake and glass of milk from my favourite tearoom, an ice cream cone from our neighbourhood “Ice Cream Man” or a bag of chocolate buttons. My mother shared a similar philosophy about sweets. She was always happy to have my sister eat a slice of leftover ice cream cake for breakfast—breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. She similarly often bought an After Eight chocolate bar prior to picking me up from the school bus, which she’d then proceed to share with me as we walked home. As a teenager, I began to ask, “Is it okay if I have dessert?” and each and every time they replied, “Of course!”
I credit my parents’ attitude towards dessert as the reason I continue to have one everyday. It’s true. Now, I admit some days it might be as modest as some cocoa powder stirred into a mug of hot milk, but likely more often than not it’s a leftover sticky bun from work, or a handful of cookies I made earlier in the week. A day without dessert is incomplete. Fair, I feel some sense of pride when my sweet supply is low and I go without dessert for a day. But, ultimately I don’t let that happen very often.
Understandably I’m puzzled when people hesitate to order dessert at a restaurant, or a pastry to accompany their coffee. It’s not illegal. Your server won’t judge you—in fact they’ll likely enjoy the larger bill. It won’t destroy someone’s life. Even yours.
Begrudgingly I suppose I should say that I do only have one dessert a day, or maybe two if it works out that way. I don’t eat desserts exclusively. But, why do we have to turn a whole subsection of food into a taboo subject? Please, let’s not ruin dessert like we have gluten and red meat. Even if you’re only prepared to eat a piece of fruit or a single square of dark chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth, own it. Don’t tell me you’re trying to be “healthy” or “restrain yourself”. Sure, if you craved that fruit for your dessert that day, have it, but if you really had your eyes on the slice of pie in the fridge, go for it. Eat it slowly, appreciating it for all its glory right down to the last crumb and then congratulate yourself for not letting possible distain from the rest of society stop you from having done so. ‘Cause honestly everyone’s fooling themselves if they think that skipping out on dessert will make up for any other downfalls in their diet.
So, please—while it’s a cliché—have your cake and eat it too. I will support your decision through every mouthful.