"Sweets are bad for your teeth!" This is the mantra that parents and dentists have managed to drum into our heads. What they wanted to avoid, though, was us cottoning on the fact that sweets are good for our mood.
Sweet equals happy and that is why so many of the joyous times in life can't do without it – just try to imagine a wedding without a cake, or a summer holiday without ice-cream. The high regard of the dessert chef position shows the importance which a good dessert has on our emotional well-being. In Bulgaria the custom of going to the confectionery shop, or sladkarnitsa, after the fashion of Austrian and German Konditorei, has survived for more than a century. Conditioned by families who go to the sladkarnitsa on droves every weekend, many Bulgarians carry on the tradition into their daily life.
You never know when your sweet tooth will make an appearance, so stock up in advance on products from Fedon. The company is a branch-off from Greece and its confections follow the traditions of the country – petit fours, biscuits, fruit rolls and bonbons are part of the production along with baklava, syrupy tolumbi and pistachio cakes. You can easily supply for a party as well – the high-quality sweets come in great variety of tastes and big packages.
Don't forget chocolate with its many justifications that medical research keeps producing. Cocoa in dark chocolate has cemented its place as a powerful agent to reduce the risk of heart failure and stimulate circulation to the brain. If you wish to get a health boost from these particular benefits, eat no more than 30 g twice a week. Chocolate raises the level of serotonin, serving as a natural antidepressant. It can even fight skin cancer and reduce wrinkles and is widely accepted as an aphrodisiac – although the last claim is unsubstantiated yet. If you dislike the bitter taste of the high cocoa content, don't despair. White chocolate also has the important compounds, delivered in the form of cocoa butter.
Indulging in sweet life once in a while won't hurt your waistline much – just practice moderation. A scoop of ice-cream every other day in summer has the double benefit of cooling you down and giving you energy. And let's face it, who has the power to resist? Especially with all the flavours like walnut or papaya sold by street vendors. Instead of forbidding yourself everything sweet, which will certainly make your life miserable in less than a week, set a fixed amount on your sugar intake and boost your fitness training, running an extra mile. This way you will be taking care of both body and spirit.
As the oft-quoted line by Oscar Wilde goes, "The best way to get rid of a temptation it to yield to it." Employ it as often as someone asks you disbelievingly: "Are you going to eat all that?"