Ocean City is a sugar lover's paradise. From breakfast through dessert it's possible to exist solely on sweets.
There are Dot's freshly baked donuts around the corner - they also are famous for monkey bread and these crazy sticky buns with cream cheese icing. Or one could indulge in pecan stuffed pancakes. Or chocolate chip. Or strawberry preserves, all topped with whipped cream. I'm throwing ice cream covered waffles in here too.
Fudge shops abound. I've seen dozens of varieties.
At least 3 home made ice cream shops are within walking distance of the house we rented.
Full disclosure: I haven't indulged in most of the above. My tumble into sugar happened slowly over last winter so I wasn't down at the shore to be tempted around the clock. But, it's the boardwalk that always got me.
Cotton candy. Water ice. Zeppoles. Caramel corn.
And my personal nemesis - custard cones.
Let me be specific here: Kohr's brothers custard. A chocolate peanut butter mix topped with either chocolate sprinkles or a fresh chocolate dip (the latter I discovered last summer).
These cones are perfection. Rich, creamy, dense but not overwhelming. Watching the sun set over the ocean, slowly licking that rich ice cream is an addictive kind of heaven.
Ever summer I'd clamor for my cones, they were part of the reason going to the boardwalk was one of my summer staples.
But, I don't eat sugar anymore.
I wondered if I'd indulge. Cave in. Allow myself the culinary luxury. Or even if I'd crave one at this point.
For the first week I had no desire. Every time we'd pass a stand (and that happens often on the boardwalk), I felt no pull. But 2 days ago, after a kick ass bike ride that included crossing a narrow bridge with cars and no shoulders, hours at the beach boogie boarding, and with a post go kart high, I wanted a cone. I didn't crave it or need it or have to have or I'd die (I've felt that way before) but I wanted one. We hadn't even eaten dinner yet but there I was, on that familiar line, ordering a chocolate peanut butter twist with chocolate dip.
I wondered if I'd be ok. If I'd gain weight. If these months of living sugar free were about to be destroyed.
All I can say is oh my god. It was creamy. Dreamy. As the flavors melted across my tongue I was at the point of swooning. Damn.
It was also intense. Rich. By the time I finished - and of course I ate the whole thing - I knew I was done. I didn't need another. Sugar wasn't going to take over my life or at least my summer.
I ate it. I enjoyed it. I indulged, savored, reveled, delighted. But I don't need to do it again.
And I realized, sugar has a different place in my life. It's not a reward or a pacifier anymore, te constant companion I can't live without. It's a very rare visitor I can enjoy and then easily say goodbye to.