2020-01-30 @Blog

I used to find certain repugnance in a grapefruit. That rose-tinted cask in the fruit isle transmitted an immediate signal to evade this exotic batch of citric acid.

I used to generally be averse to all sour fruit. I associated fruit with dessert back when I still expected something sweet to accompany a meal.

From a certain point my dessert consisted of nothing but fruit. But I still expected it sweet, which naturally alienated the acidic counterparts.

Then I came to the realization that sugar in fruit is still sugar, and anything sweet functions as a narcotic. Or better yet, sugar is a narcotic, like cocaine.

In fact, I fail to see the difference. Expecting sweetness fosters further dependence on sweetness, which, in turn, leads to perpetual acquisition and consumption.

Habitual sugar consumption may involve just fruit, or extend to pastries, ice cream, nutella, granola, chocolate, or any synthesized concoction with added sweeteners. One could even ascribe a series of benefits to a subset of these products. But they all cleverly house the underlying narcotic.

Commerce depends on your consumption of the sweeter food. It’s generally much cheaper to produce, as sugar can masquerade the otherwise degenerate composition. There’s sugar in bread, sugar in natural yogurt, sugar in ketchup.

Everywhere sweet consumables are packaged, marketed, sold and consumed. Everywhere drug trafficking intensifies, in a perfectly sanctioned and transparent form.

Having sufficiently drilled this notion into my head, I adapted new behavior. Take pleasure in the bitter.

These days, grapefruit tastes phenomenal. So does a plain lemon. As does a sour espresso coffee. Or plain, unsweetened kefir, if you’re into fermented beverages.

Mind you, only four years ago I found all of the above as intractable as bark. Now I’ve come to expect fruit to be sour, heavy preference for the green apples or the more acidic relatives of the citrus family.

Naturally, the sour-sweet dichotomy forms not a binary, but an analog scale. An apple or an orange will generally taste less sweet than a mango or papaya.

Strangely, sweetness doesn’t necessarily align with the sugar quantity in direct proportion. But little does it matter for my purposes. The addictive qualities I find enough of a detractor.

In many of the Latin American countries, juice, not water, comes complimentary with a meal. I’ll even grant the benefit of the doubt of it being naturally extracted.

Yet it’s nearly always of the sweeter variety: orange, melon, peach, mango, strawberry and the sort, usually enhanced by sugar. A cheap marketing staple to grant the illusion of added value. I occasionally take a sip, though fail to retain a cringe.

Poland is one of the few countries I recall that offered plain, unsweetened grapefruit juice on a pervasive basis, bars including. Alas, grapefruit (citrus × paradisi) cultivation and distribution lies far in-between, prevalent more among the subtropical regions.

Yet pomelo rosado (pink grapefruit) is commonly sold here in Santiago, Chile. (Perhaps it’s imported from the neighboring Argentina, one of the larger producers in South America. Otherwise, China and the US are the leading cultivators.)

That’s it boys and girls. Don’t make a lifetime habit of sweets or even the sweeter fruit. Re-cultivate the pleasure for the sour.

Questions, comments? Connect.