Until seeing the article below, it hadn’t been known by me why humans ate dessert last. While there are many scientific studies, there are a few things this article was missing. Didn’t a family’s customs come into play?
While there might have been an inborn desire to inhale many calories as possible, meals aren’t complete without dessert. In some cases, people from my church said that desert got eaten at lunch and dinner. Some families only had dessert on Sundays. Most of the time, it was made from scratch before pasteurization and refrigeration.
Notice that while conditions like heart disease, and high cholesterol had names, the path to treatment for heart attacks and strokes came much later. Likewise, the dangers of sugar and its link to diabetes weren’t known back then either other than being bad for the teeth. When people ate sweets, they had to make them. There weren’t any nutrition labels showing how much sugar, fat from calories or transfat. Thanks to modern conveniences like manufacturing, sugar is readily available in more items other than desserts and candy.
Those that grew up during World War II dealt with shortages in staples, like sugar. The Great Depression made food more scarce, so any dessert is a treat, especially getting a birthday cake. My mother doesn’t eat a lot of sweets like cake, cookies and pies. Every time someone had a birthday or retired cake was served at the party. My grandfather served a dessert after dinner, but as children, we had to eat all our food first, including vegetables.
I wonder if there were books on what dessert went with a certain meal? They had books on the type of wine that went with certain meals. Why not make one for desserts? The only thing this blogger knew is what bread to serve. Italian dishes went with Italian bread. Roast beef had bread as did roast pork, chicken and turkey.
In my family, dessert was a sometimes food, only to be eaten after dinner and only if we cleaned our plate. It went further with me though. Mom tried cutting out a lot of the extras that my brother and sister got but I didn’t because I didn’t move around enough.The after school snack was forbidden. Fruit replaced potato chips and sweets.Servings of potatoes, pasta and bread were also limited. If I asked for seconds and cake was served, I had to forfeit the cake. If we got soda, I got one cup.
It is tradition, in my family, during the holiday season, to serve chocolate with the celebratory meal. Any time my mother served chicken or turkey, my siblings and I asked where the chocolate was? My sister got mad one time because mom had no chocolate dessert on the table on Thanksgiving. It made me mad too because I don’t like Lemon Meringue Pie and prefer chocolate cake to apple pie or peach cobbler. Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie aren’t my favorites either. I resorted to bringing my own dessert instead of asking her what to bring.
When dessert is served, it is the complement of a great meal. It made the difference just like the type of wine or bread. Whether one ate dessert and how often depended on where they are on life’s time line.