When I was a kid, I always figured that when I grew up, my intense love of candy and sweet things would just sort of die down. Candy is for children, not adults. As I grew up, I realized that that was simply not true, and throughout college, I bought those five-pound bags of M&Ms and Skittles (and Sour Patch Kids). In my defense, I also shared (having a five pound sack of candy is a pretty good ice breaker, after all) but all-in-all, I ate a LOT of candy.
I have spoken a few times about the candy “buffets” here in Sweden, and one thing I love about them is that they’re not just for children. Sure, it seems that brightly colored sweets with brightly colored scoops and brightly colored bags scream “THIS IS FOR CHILDREN” but here, everyone seems to ignore that and I’m more often waiting for a mild-looking middle-aged man to be finished scooping his sour watermelon gummies than I am tripping over children eager to fill their sacks to bursting. As an adult here in Sweden, I am given free license to love candy, and love candy I do.
Something is happening to me, and has only begun happening to me since I’ve come to Europe this January. Slowly (but ever-so-surely) I find myself less attracted to heavy-duty sweet things. This is not to say that I don’t still eat cake and candy and cookies. But I find myself eating just a few pieces of candy here and there and the attraction to cakes and cookies is shifting. I used to want to eat everything I saw. If I saw a triple layer peanut butter fudge layer cake, I’d want it. If I saw turtle cheesecake, I would want it. If I saw Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies, I’d want them.
Now, I sort of go “meh.” When I was a kid, sometimes my parents would buy one of those big boxes of leftover donuts that they had for cheap at the end of the day in the grocery-store bakery, and the next day, we would each get to choose a donut (or a half a donut) to eat for breakfast. I can vividly remember my mother saying one morning that the donut’s frosting was too sweet, and it made her mouth tickle. Too sweet? It was frosting, for goodness’ sake! My mouth didn’t tickle! Those silly grown-ups. Now, I can totally see where she was coming from.
I think it comes from the fact that cakes here aren’t the same as cakes in the states. Now, I can’t really generalize about “European cakes” because I don’t know that there is such a thing, but from what I’ve experienced, the cakes are always lighter, with thinner layers, and more airy cream-like fillings, not nearly as much frosting, and much less sweet. I’m definitely not giving up on my good ol’ American treats, but I definitely want to learn more about how to make cakes that are not so heavy, dense, and sweet. And when I do want to make one of my standby favorites, I’ve recently discovered the best way to indulge…
…miniaturely! I tried to get a good photo of the finished mini-slices of cake, but it wasn’t working out for me. I figured since it wasn’t happening this time (we were mostly eating the cake after dark) that it didn’t matter much because this is how I plan on making all my layer cakes in the near future. A side-benefit is that I can make a half or a quarter recipe, and we don’t have quite as much cake that we don’t know what to do with! Also, they’re really cute.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my change in taste, and I think it goes hand-in-hand with trying to eat better. However, my tastes have not changed so much that I want to eat licorice, so don’t worry, I’m still the same old me!