Nici Wickes: Sugar-free madness

By Nici Wickes

Cane sugar, dairy and wheat flour free sweet treats from Little Bird Unbakery. Picture / Babiche Martens
Cane sugar, dairy and wheat flour free sweet treats from Little Bird Unbakery. Picture / Babiche Martens

I felt like tipping a bag of sugar over her head. White cane sugar. Large granules. I'm on a month-long trial of being sugar-free but I was so irritable on Day 12 that I took myself off to a local cafe to score a piece of cake.

Attempting to minimise the damage as I fell from the wagon, I'd selected a local eatery popular with the yoga mat set, which boasts that no cane sugar, dairy products or wheat flour have been used in the making of its food.

So there I was, desperate and salivating with anticipation at the cabinet of sweets and about to place my order when Ms Pushy came between the treats and me. She hadn't seemed to notice there was a system, called a queue, in place. To make matters worse, she then insisted on finding out which of the sweets were made with agave and which with maple syrup. It seems she had a preference for one and not the other. This necessitated a bulging folder being hauled from beneath the counter so that the staff member could patiently consult the full ingredient list of each and every new request she pondered.

I was at screaming point. It's just food, I wanted to shout, it won't kill you but I might if you don't hurry up. After a full 14 minutes and an exhaustive inquiry she decided against ordering anything sweet after all. And I was finally able to place my order for a slice of raspberry and ginger cheesecake.

With every mouthful I savoured the sweetness of my sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free cheesecake and I was in heaven. Then as I made to leave, the waiter wanted to know if I wanted a '"detox juice to go". Excuse me? Have we really all gone so completely mad? I laughed, I didn't feel toxic in the slightest I told him, in fact I felt fantastic - I detox in the usual manner each morning, the same way humans have been doing since time began I assume. I may be sugar-free right now but I'm not stupid.


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