Sugar’s Dilemma

I am a Pastry Chef who doesn’t eat sugar.  It’s more than confusing, it’s a paradox.  My career revolves around a singular subject, one type of ingredient that takes on multiple forms.  Glucose, fructose, maltose, sucrose, lactose, whatever the crystallization, the commonality is the sweet sensation.  Honey, turbinado, jaggery, molasses, confectioners, maple, sugar beet, sugar cane, whatever the source, the building blocks of taste are the same.

My nickname is Sugar, that’s how ingrained this ingredient is in my life. I personally, however, avoid consuming sugar.  I try not to eat it.  Ever.  I do this for health reasons.  As you may have heard, sugar is linked to all kinds of weight and mental issues.  All I know is that I feel better when I avoid it.  I try to eat a very high fat and vegetable diet.  The problem with the Paleo lifestyle is that it is literally impossible to be a Pastry Chef who doesn’t eat sugar.  It makes no sense, it is not logical, professionally unacceptable, a contradiction.

Sugar is a dilemma.  It gets a bad rap, but has a place on the dinner table.  I have carved a career about of the very thing that I try so hard to avoid.  The problem is in the excess.  Sugar is everywhere and in everything.  It is not left to the special birthday cake, a once in a blue moon sweet.  It has gotten so out of control that sugar is even in water.   The singular essential ingredient to human life, and that too has been enhanced with the manufactured syrup of modern eating.

I put it in everything, but that is because I put it in the proper role.  I am a Sugar Fairy that knows what percentage of sweetness is perfect for taste and digestion, how to construct a plate that is balanced with a touch of salt, a sprinkle of acid, and good amount of crunch, a lot of creamy texture, a silky mouthful.  Sugar is important.  Sugar is fun.  Sugar is a life enhancement but it must be used cautiously.  You leave that part up to me.

For now,  I will keep on trying to avoid eating peanut butter bacon cookie dough, mint chocolate chip ice cream, lemon curd, or chocolate mousse for breakfast.  I need to remember to take a hint from myself and save it for the right time.


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