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Why Sweetness is Important

This may shock you, coming from me, but here goes: the fact is, sweets are not necessary in life. Cupcake bakeries? Cookie shops? Not necessary at all to living.

And that's exactly why they're so important. 

Because while sweets--and I'm talking about all sorts here, from confections to ice cream to pies, cakes, and cookies--aren't necessary to stay alive, they make living so much nicer.

They're a daily celebration of the small moments in life: taking a moment to pause over coffee with a pain au chocolat or doughnut in the morning.

They're an overture of friendship: who brings a bundle of kale to a new neighbor? No way, you bring muffins or cookies. (And if you are the type of person to bring kale, I would like to say that I respect you, but do not understand you.)

They're how we connect and re-connect: be it milk and cookies after school or pie and coffee with a long-lost friend, food is how we connect as humans, and often it's the sweet stuff that brings us together.

They're what memories and stories are made of: who doesn't have fond memories of grandma's cherry pie cooling on the counter, or the famous chocolate chip cookies a neighbor made?

They're comforting: there's a reason why Cathy turns to chocolate in her cartoon strip, or why it's a cliche for the recently-broken-up person turns to pints of Ben and Jerry's. There is something comforting about sweets. This can turn into unhealthy territory, granted, but it's impossible to deny that sweets can soothe the troubled mind, even if for a short time.

They're the showpiece at the center of life's big moments: after all, what would a birthday or wedding be without a cake?

They're an affordable luxury: while one might not always be able to buy something at Tiffany or Cartier, but most people can afford at least a single macaron at Pierre Herme or Laduree (of course, airfare being what it is, you could do this at a French bakery in your town, even), and feel like a million bucks after the experience of browsing, choosing, and then eating this precious treat.

...and they are so much more. Sweets are indulgence, they are sweetness, they are love. That is to say--not the stuff that keeps us alive, but certainly the stuff that makes life lovelier and more interesting. 

While this wasn't meant necessarily as a book pitch, I would like to say that this idea of The Importance of Sweetness In Everyday Life is a large motivation behind my entire website and recently-released book and book tour. It is why I decided to conduct my book tour at bakeries rather than bookstores: so that I could share sweetness--literally--with everyone who is kind enough to show up to one of my events, whether or not they buy the book (no pressure, I promise. OK, maybe a little pressure). That having been said, I hope I will see you on one of my upcoming East Coast book tour dates--find all the dates here, and below:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

November 7-8: Boston

  • Monday, November 7: Sweet Cupcakes, Downtown location, (11 School Street) 5-7 pm
  • Tuesday, November 8: Eat Cake, Newburyport, 3pm

November 9-11: New York (Manhattan and Brooklyn)

November 12: Philadelphia 

November 14: Baltimore, MD

November 15: Washington DC

November 16-17 New Jersey (cities tba)

  • November 16: Sweet in Hoboken, 5-7 pm
  • November 17: Sugarush in Red Bank, New Jersey, 4pm 

November 18-19: Chicago

December 12-15: Los Angeles


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Reader Comments (8)

You said all of this best. This is so true. My love for sweets stemmed from my childhood. It's something that can clearly be tossed across the table.
You know... there are lots of bakeries in Florida, where it is warm and relatively dry in the very cold north west winter... wink wink... Any chance you'll head down to Florida? Surely, the publisher/rep would love a warm stop on the tour...
November 9 | Unregistered CommenterKim
I am so bummed I will not be able to make it your NYC events and get my book signed! Perhaps I will try for Hoboken.
Hope the tour has been wonderful so far!
November 9 | Unregistered Commenterlauren
Beautifully said!! I love never knowing if it's going to be a recipe, a review, or an..essay like this on your site. So very nice to meet you yesterday at Eat Cake! in Newburyport and I wish you the best with the rest of your tour! You're as sweet as your grocery list must be. ;)
November 9 | Unregistered CommenterJill
Well said. Given all the doom and gloom you hear every time you turn on the news, these little indulgences are what keep me going. Here's to more baking, more sharing, and more sweetness!
November 9 | Unregistered CommenterAllison
I love sweets so much.

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November 10 | Unregistered CommenterErica
what would life be without sweets? the best place in the world is to be having cookies and milk with mom and dad at night or some guiltily sweet pastry or cake and coffee with a friend or lover ^_^
November 11 | Unregistered CommenterDenis Paxton
I love this and I'm so excited to be stopping by your signing in Baltimore on Monday night. Can't wait to buy and browse through your book!
November 11 | Unregistered CommenterStacy A

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