Yes, I said fruit.
Move over fall holidays, take a hike wax fangs, it's sugar plum time. Sugar plums, btw, are also a fruit.
Are you longing for a Christmas platter piled with cookies, ribbon candy, peppermint puffs, chocolate kisses, and figs.
You heard me, figs.
I'm old enough to have parents who are old enough to talk about the delight of an orange in their Christmas stocking, so the idea of fruit as a delicacy has become ingrained. The cravings seem to peak in the summer, and...right...about...now.
Why is that?
A Pavlovian response to the crates of oranges and grapefruit we get from Florida this time each year? The fruit orgies of dates, pomegranates, tangerines, grapes, star fruit, and prickly pears from the Christmas tables of my childhood?
Or is it because, as a study done last summer at Cornell University would have us believe, people who love candy, also love fruit.
The Sweet Tooth Study
This study involved thousands of test subjects, dividing the sugar people from the salt people, then the veggie people from the fruit people.
They found a major link between sweet eaters and fruit consumption.
It turns out that sugar lovers, like ourselves, go for fruit over salt. And not surprisingly, fruit lovers eat more sweets than veggie lovers.
The idea is that the same craving which tells you to eat a pack of frozen Snickers, also directs you to the fruit aisle in search of a Cripps Pink.
This explains why I eat Dots with apples, but what about the desire to pour Jujyfruits and Sour Patch Kids into popcorn? (Warning, that Sour Patch link is a little trippy.)
Getting back to the study by Cornell Food and Brand Lab director, Professor Brian Wansink, he's a food psychologist and really wants people to eat better. Knowing that we may just as easily eat a banana as a bon bon gives the healthy types hope for us sweet tooths.
So let's show Professor Wansink what candy lovers are made of.
Sources: Nutrition Today (Sept-Oct 2006), Cornell University Faculty Profiles
flickr photo by Jane.b