The West’s “Sweet Tooth” Myth about Japanese Cakes
It’s a pleasure reading your well-balanced article about Japanese eating habits. You mention comments of visitors to Japan about the fast-food servings — the other comment I often hear is how the Japanese have a sweet tooth.
In my experience that is far from the truth.
The pictures of all the beautiful Japanese patisseries don’t show the delicate subtle natural sweetness which they embrace — unlike high-fructose, industrial sweeteners and added sugar in Western cakes.
I discovered this because I gave up sugar as a (late) teenager “I Gave Up Sugar Cold Turkey To Impress My Girlfriend’s Parents” which meant that I became able to taste the subtle real sugars in food. That’s what I found in Japanese cakes — often matched to the season.
Japanese are bought up to have a discerning palate, as are the peoples of the other food nations of China, France and Italy. Despite Masterchef, the rest of us don’t have it. Giving up adding refined sugar is a small step towards understanding what natural sweetness means. Then, you can taste the real flavour of Japanese cakes.