French Sugar

When I was younger, I loved going to Pizza Hut with my family. Pizza Hut was a special treat, as my whole family would crowd around their deep dish pie in awe before fighting over the cheesiest slice. But my sister and I also loved the Pizza Hut salad bar. In the early 80’s in suburban New Jersey, Pizza Hut was revolutionary with its salad bar, complete with self-serve bacon bits.

But, our plates were not all bacon bits, croutons, and sunflower seeds, much to the delight of my mother. We ate a lot of cucumbers and tomatoes and cauliflower at that salad bar. And the only reason we ate those veggies was because of their unbelievably delicious French dressing. Pizza Hut French dressing was/is the champagne of French dressings. My soccer friends and I would chow down on broccoli florets at Pizza Hut team dinners, as long as that broccoli was bright orange.

Yet, French dressing, as we all know, is made up of sugar, sugar, and more sugar. (I was traumatized when a schoolmate once told me it was made from crushed Oompa-Loompas.) It leaves a tangerine-colored stain on everything it touches. It tastes like, well, fruity sugar paste. And it’s delicious.

I haven’t been to a Pizza Hut in twenty years.  But today, I still smother my salads with French dressing. As an adult who knows I should be choosing a healthier option, I continue to douse my spinach in orange-colored gooey-ness. Then, I devour my salad like ice cream. ( I wouldn’t consume as many daily carrots if they were only coated in a tasteless, fat free vinaigrette.) If it takes a few teaspoons of sugar to make the broccoli go down, so be it.

And when people judge my sugar-coated salad, I tell them to go suck on a tomato.  A tomato dipped in French dressing, of course.





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