I normally try to limit my sugar intake. Really, I do.
I know it may not seem like it, especially if you’ve ever talked to me about dessert. I have an impossibly big sweet tooth (it’s something I inherited from my grandfather — it’s genetic — don’t judge me!). I’ve gone through several periods of my life wherein my diet consisted solely of candy, fruit, and baked goods. Gummy bears for breakfast, nectarines for lunch, and ice cream for dinner, anyone?
Now that I’ve become health-conscious, however, I usually save “true” desserts for special occasions. You guessed it: vacation definitely counts as a special occasion.
There were no holds barred during Seattle. I ingested sugar, and a lot of it. In fact, by the end of the trip, I felt I didn’t need to have another cookie until 2014. Here’s a lovely collection of the things that fueled my sugar relapse, in chronological order.
Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, melted chocolate & early grey ice cream. We were fortunate enough to live a 10-minute walk away from this celebrated shop. I marveled at how the chocolate truly did seem to capture the quality of “melted”-ness (if there is such a thing?). It was a bit thicker and richer than most local San Franciscan ice creams, but equally delicious. Added bonus: because it wasn’t prone to thawing into a puddle of goop, I didn’t have to race to finish it. That said: I still inhaled it.
Cow Chip Cookies, chocolate chip cookie with walnuts. Not bad — but not good. It was actually a bit disappointing, considering that (a) this was fairly expensive at $3; and (b) I can make a healthier, tastier rendition at home.
D’Ambrosio Gelato, hazelnut & mint chip. This is well-made gelato that hit the spot. What more is there to say?
Cafe Besalu, croissant (lead picture). I’m a bit hesitant to list this fine, artisanal pastry amongst the likes of kid-friendly desserts — but carbs will be carbs. I will say that this croissant was just excellent, especially pulled apart into flaky bits and dipped in the accompanying peach jam.
Skydottir Epic Cookies, chocolate chip cookie. I adored this cookie — not only for its deliciousness, but also for its excellent ingredients list. Gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, and sweetened with coconut sugar, it made me feel like I was back to my normal, “healthy sweets” lifestyle. Is is true, then? Have I really gotten used to this whole moderation thing, after all? (Answer: no. Read on.)
Old School Frozen Custard, Homeroom sundae. Jay is not one for sweets, but he totally dug into this whirl of vanilla custard, homemade chocolate brownie, and hot fudge. “It’s so good… It’s like McDonald’s soft serve!” he commented (amusingly, perhaps oxymoronically?). Creamy, dreamy, simple, decadent… perhaps my favorite scoop in Seattle.
Bakery Nouveau, twice-baked almond croissant. This bakery has quite the reputation, especially for this deceptively filling pastry. Unlike Cafe Besalu’s simple croissant, this sucker is soaked in simple syrup and pumped full of almond cream, yet, somehow, isn’t tooth-achingly sweet. Make no mistake, this is one delicious sugarbomb — but one I can feel refined eating.
Full Tilt Ice Cream, vegan huckleberry chip and chocolate ice cream. Lord, have mercy. This was some good ice cream — I couldn’t even tell it was vegan! But. Just look at the sheer amount of ice cream packed into that “single-serving” bowl. I mean, that is a normal-sized plastic spoon sticking out of that mountain of sugar and coconut milk. The kicker: I finished the whole thing… by myself. I truly felt like this was the nadir of my addiction.
Difficult it may be to believe, this wasn’t it — I also had dessert at a dinner or two, and began and ended my sugar binge at Pike Place Market. Let’s not forget the orgy of cacao that was Theo Chocolate Factory. It was all too much, my friends.
The whole glucose-heavy experience culminated in the unthinkable: the actual disposal of a dessert. The times are few and far between that I’ll willingly waste a food product, bar none a sweet… but I did it. I threw a pastry in the trash. I’d like to say that sugar lost its death grip on me, but then I had a cookie soon afterward. Baby steps, right?
This is my final post about Seattle, and I think it’s fitting. You might be as sick of hearing about Seattle as I was of dessert. In any case, Seattle, I’ll say this: You were a sugar high, it’s true. Having experienced all your sweetness, I hate to come back (or shall I say, come down?) to real life. It may be for my own good, though, that I go granola in the Bay Area for a bit. I do hope to see you again soon.