Ever wondered why dessert comes at the end of the meal?
It’s been a bit since I’ve done any recipe testing. T’was needed. I was thinking about making a less bad for you version of chocolate chip cookies, which got me thinking about dessert, it’s origin & why many of us crave sweets after eating. Is it psychological or physiological? It’s a little of both.
The word “dessert” comes from the French & means “to clear the table”. It refers back to the days when candied fruits & nuts were eaten post lux meal. But that’s just the beginning. There are several reasons that the confections came at the end of the meal. Here are a couple:
There’s a period in history where sugar was interspersed throughout a meal, which seems like an unnatural rhythm mixing sweet & savory. But in the days of yore, sugar was a hot & expensive commodity & people wanted to show off to guests by adding a lot within the dishes. But rising sugar prices no longer allowed for such flagrant disregard to when & where & what dishes it made an appearance. So it made its way to the end & it’s now been that way for quite some time, give or take a few nuances in different cultures & what we’ve come to expect. Psychological.
Digestion is THE activity the body needs to perform post meal, which takes up serious energy (Hi food coma!) The cravings for sweet arise as the body sees sugar as a source of quick energy. Except it’s not, it’s empty calories that are instead stored in fat cells. In TCM, sweet is the flavor associated w. the stomach & spleen, aka the digestion center. So it may be that you need a little help in the digestive area. Flavors/tastes are tied to the energetic function of our organs & cravings are a way that your body communicates w. you to let you know that there’s stagnation & something out of harmony. It’s also why you may crave sweet after a salty or imbalanced meal. The body is asking to get back to balance & harmony & that that stomach/spleen duo are asking for a little energetic support. It’s something to pay attention to if it happens often as this will indicate more of an imbalance. Physiological.
Do you still think life’s short, eat dessert first?