Day 17 – Mystery Sweeteners

I don’t know, some days it’s like, yep, this is a place to eat and, yep, despite having not been here for a week and a half, inspiration is running a bit dry.

Not literally–I can still breathe in there. But metaphorically, certainly.

So what do I have? Sweeteners.

At every Olive Garden table is a bowl of sweeteners for your coffee or tea or wine or whatever. Presumably somebody is out there pouring sugar packets on their lasagna. Because when you have a lot of people and a lot of time you basically get every possible action. It’s like monkeys and typewriters but much simpler and it doesn’t take as long until somebody is spelling out Hamlet’s soliloquies in aspartame on their shrimp scampi.

I get that Olive Garden doesn’t want to pay money to use brand names, so it gets its own generic sweeteners and slaps their logo on the front of each paper tube (that tube shape instead of a rectangular packet is also disturbing but better left for another blog post as at some point I will be even more desperate for content than tonight). Nevertheless, the result of this is that somebody using one of these packets is going to be doing some guesswork.

Now, the ingredients are printed right there on the package. However, aside from the one made of “sugar,” I don’t actually have the ingredients of various common sweeteners memorized. I know, I know, I’m working on it. The result is that, except for sugar, if you’re going for a particular choice to sweeten up your coffee and hasten Judgment Day, you’re going it blind. The different colors on the packets don’t actually clarify anything, but add another layer of confusion. We know there are four different sweeteners because the colors remain consistent, so why do two differently-colored packets both call themselves “sugar substitute”? Imagine if I offered you butter for your breadsticks alongside three plates of cubed yellow oil solids labeled “not butter”? Would that be helpful?

Just say “aspartame” on one and “Sucralose” on another or whatever. It’s surprisingly not that hard to tell people what they’re about to ingest. Sometimes, it’s even the law.

Demand answers!

Option 1: linguini, meatballs, meat sauce

Option 2: grilled chicken on linguini

Breadsticks: 2

Weight: more than 2

Things: stuff