Hey, what’s that stashed behind the soup bowls in the kitchen cabinet?
People love to give children sweets. Bank tellers, teachers, neighbors, elders in the mall bathroom. Where does it all come from?
I have a flashback to college.
“There’s got to be a single, giant kitchen under West Philadelphia that supplies all the food trucks on campus. Chinese, Middle Eastern, Greek…One chef with hundreds of runners that pop up through the manholes to make deliveries.”
The late-night musings of my architecture classmate were oddly plausible. Sure, he was into comic books and Joseph Campbell. But there were an awful lot of sketchy-looking vehicles cranking out prodigious quantities of student entrees. How else could one reconcile the trucks’ “Sanford and Son” appearance with their their Justo Thomas efficiency?
Now I’m convinced that there’s a candy factory in the earth’s mantle. Its creations can be as glorious as the Juicy Fruit tree and as dirty as the bottom-of-the-purse peppermint. In time they’ll all make their way towards my children’s uptuned palms. If I play it right, most will cure in the dark recesses of our furniture until they’ve faded from the kids’ memory.
Often it’s me that forgets about the sweet, secret loot. We have a modern white console that now reeks of Starburst and Skittles. It’s destined to end up in a bric-a-brac shop, next to the attractive but passed-over bureau steeped in “Charlie.”
These days it’s popular to villainize sugar. I agree with most of the complaints, and certainly there’s plenty of data to back them up. There’s a part of me, though, that longs to sit at a table in front of Whole Foods (where I normally shop) and slurp down a Krispy Kreme. A sweet, greasy plea for moderation. Even Michael Pollan says people should indulge their sweet tooth every now and then. In my sugar calculus, I trade bright, rubbery pats of fake fruit for the occasional slice of homemade pound cake, or a flan made by a friend. It seems to solve the problem.