Our Sweet Teeth

Schaffner, Anna Katharina (2015) Our Sweet Teeth. Review of: Darra Golstein, The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets by Goldstein, Darra. Times Literary Supplement, . pp. 1-4. ISSN 0307-661X. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1595296...

Abstract

We are, it seems, pre-determined to love the taste of all things sweet. Evolutionary biologists argue that survival once depended on our ability to take in quickly high amounts of nutritional energy, a major source of such energy being found in carbohydrates, which include sugar. As frugivores, we generally prefer our fruit as ripe as possible, its degree of edibility being signalled by sweetness, too. While sweetness signals calories, bitterness in contrast may indicate the presence of toxins. It appears that our predilection for sweetness is, like the incest taboo, a cross-cultural phenomenon, and that it is ubiquitous and, in all likelihood, innate: the facial expressions of new-borns, for example, display unambiguous pleasure when sugar is placed on their tongues. We appear, moreover, to have raided beehives for millennia: there is evidence in Mesolithic cave paintings that feeding on honey has always been part of our primate nature. We share our love of sweetness with most other mammals, the sole exception being felines.

Item Type: Review
Uncontrolled keywords: food studies, sweets, obesity, history of food, cultural studies
Subjects: D History General and Old World
H Social Sciences
R Medicine
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Comparative Literature
Depositing User: Anna Katharina Schaffner
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2015 10:05 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2017 11:27 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/52173 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Schaffner, Anna Katharina: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7097-2145
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