Id Foods

Every time there’s a beer in front of me, or a small glass filled with my favorite whiskey, there’s a tiny part within my brain, and I’m guessing that it’s in yours as well, that thinks “Wheeeee! I’m drinking alcohol!”

It’s not a mature feeling, by any sense. But it is a fun one.

If we’re to put this in Freudian terms, this would be the id speaking. That part of us that doesn’t give a damn that a serving size of ice cream is supposed to be one scoop, or that bacon isn’t its own food group. It’s our baser instinct, searching out the foods which taste great, but make our doctors very, very nervous.

What do these foods have in common? They all bring some measure of pleasure to us.

Let me restate that, because reading the word “pleasure” may give the idea of an understated moment that gives us only a brief pause and brief respite from the ills of the world.

No.

What I’m talking about is Pleasure, the one that brings the noticeable (and even measurable) physical response in a person.

Not surprisingly, there’s precious little research done to tell us how which foods make us happy. Most food research goes into the bad things that foods can do for us, or the healthy things food can do for us. Very little research money goes into what makes us happy. I’m sure there’s a philosophical debate to be made within there somewhere, but that’s best left for a different blog.

I do recall one experiment with one of our simian brethern, where they were observed as they made a dietary choice between grains and fruits, and they’d choose the fruit most every time. I’m willing to bet that a version for homo sapiens would be a choice between a chocolate sundae and a bowl of broccoli. For all the good press broccoli gets, I’m sure that even the most hardcore broccoli fan’s choice would go something like “Can I get whipped cream and nuts upon mine?”

Id foods are typically filled with one of three ingredients – sugar, fat, or alcohol. The better ones contain aspects of all three; for example, tiramisu made with espresso liqueur. It’s probably safe to say that any foods that raise endorphins could also fit into the Id food category; Say, for example, chocolate. Combine chocolate with sugar, fat, and alcohol and you get…well, tiramisu made with espresso liqueur. (I’m not sure, but I think I just discovered why tiramisu is the worlds most decadent food.)

The food world tends to treat these types of food the way a sex therapist treats pornography. Yes, it’s acceptable, but we really don’t want to speak about it too much in front of mixed company. But soon as the mixed company goes home, we jump on the Internet and download pictures of bacon.

So here’s your chance. Tell us, in the comments, of your favorite id foods. Give me your version of tiramisu.