Minority Opinions

Not everyone can be mainstream, after all.

Too Sweet to Last

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We recently had tilapia for dinner.  It was an impulse buy, prompted by an in-store sample booth with the four-year-old’s approval.  The coconut milk crust was interesting and flavorful; indeed, a few of our favorite dishes involve coconut milk sauces.  Sadly, this one proved too sweet to last for more than a few bites, so it was a terrible flop at the table.

I’m told that a similar principle underlies a counter-intuitive result in comparing Pepsi and Coca-Cola.  Pepsi tends to perform better at blind taste tests, but Coke sells better.  Part of it could simply be inertia from an ingenious marketing campaign, but part of it is that Pepsi is significantly sweeter.  In small doses, that tastes better, but over the course of a full can or bottle, it can overpower the bitterness that makes cola interesting.

I personally don’t like the cola flavor, though, so I don’t drink either.  In fact, my total carbonated beverage intake is very low for my demographic.  Part of that is that I find corn syrup itself sickly sweet.  As the sweetener of choice for the major brands, that leaves me happier with water in most situations.  There are exceptions, though: citrus sodas when I’m sick, A&W at social events, an occasional sugar-based or fruit juice soft drink.  Truthfully, more than I probably should have, but certainly less than one per week.

In a metaphorical sense, the same sense of sickly sweet can apply to more than food.  I find myself particularly annoyed by baby-talk in inappropriate situations.  A certain choir director may be surprised to learn that diminishing attendance could have something to do with talking down to the singers, in an unnaturally high-pitched voice.  A QA manager reacting to a new feature with “It pwetty” can start to get on the nerves after a few times.

Fortunately, we had some lemon juice to render the coconut fish edible.  Still, we were far more satisfied with the pesto-tomato salmon, which had a savory flavor.  Even if the fish itself was mediocre, at least it felt like dinner.


Written by eswald

11 Oct 2011 at 8:29 pm

Posted in Food, Lifestyle

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