Monday, February 1, 2016

Carpe Diem #909 Sweetness

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a nice responses I have read already and what a joy to see names of participants of the former years of CDHK. It's always great to see them visit again. This month we are sharpening our senses through the beautiful prompt-list by Hamish Managua Gunn. Today we are exploring sweetness.

As I did in our first episode of this month, "hearing", I will first write an introduction, than the notes by Hamish will follow and to close this episode I will share my response(s) with you all.


Sweetness as in sweet like candy refers to our taste, one of the senses which we are developing first even before we are born. A 12 weeks old fetus has a lot of taste buds. They drink from the amniotic and can taste what their mother has eaten. As we look at babies, toddlers than we see that they are all discovering their world with their mouth. During the first years of our life our taste becomes better and we are tasting the differences between candy, vegetables and so on, but as we are becoming older a lot of our taste buds will be gone.

walking along the beach
the taste of salt tickles my tongue
a stormy day

© Chèvrefeuille

Hamish on Sweetness

Who does not have a sweet tooth! Sweetness could be said to be the sense that ensured our survival up to today... our ancient primate ancestors in their natural settings looked for sweetness intensity in the plants and berries they ate. Sweetness intensity indicated energy intensity. while bitterness indicated toxicity.  Our high sweetness detection threshold and low bitterness detection threshold predisposed our primate ancestors to seek out sweet-tasting (and energy-dense) foods and avoid bitter-tasting foods.

Credits: sweetness

Our toxicity now lies in the pollution and stress of daily modern city life, and chocolate is our main anecdote, the most-consumed food material on earth. Those who want even more sweetness can find it in some plants: a number of plant species produce glycosides that are sweet at concentrations much lower than sugar. The most well-known example is licorice root, which is about 30 times sweeter than sucrose. Another commercially important example isstevioside, from the South American shrub  Stevia rebaudiana. It is roughly 250 times sweeter than sucrose. Another class of potent natural sweeteners are the sweet proteins such as thaumatin, found in the West African katemfe fruit.

Sweetness is such a desired taste we often refer to those we love as 'sweetie' or words similar. However, the role of sweet foods and drinks for those without the love they need in their lives is the dark side of the need for the sweet taste of life....

Try to catch sweetness as in "taste" or as in the "one you love" in your haiku (or tanka).

My response

It wasn't an easy task to create a haiku on sweetness, but I think I caught both ideas about sweetness in this cascading haiku:

grandma has passed away
her sweet perfume of freesias -
Ah! that sweet scent

Credits: Freesias

Ah! that sweet scent
memories making my heart cry
grandma’s stewed pears

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... it's a challenge, but I know you all are such great poets that this challenge will be easy.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 4th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, the first Tokubetsudesu episode of this month, later on. 

1 comment:

  1. Aww...the haiku of your grandmother are sweet memories indeed, Kristjaan!