Pleasure is not measured in grams.

I was eating a crumpet this morning – a square crumpet, which is relevant I promise – and it got me thinking about my relationship with food. At the supermarket I instinctively, often unconsciously, compare food in terms of cost to weight. I only buy fruits and vegetables that are in season because they cost a small fraction of what shoulder-season or out-of-season produce costs, or if I’m deciding between two kinds of biscuit I’ll almost always favour the option that costs less by weight and, almost paradoxically, will sometimes even spend a little more to satisfy that instinct (eg. buying a bigger bag of biscuits than I need).

The supermarket has two options for crumpets: round, or square. Either option entails six crumpets. For reasons unknown square crumpets cost $3 and round crumpets cost $2.50, but square crumpets offer up 425 glutenful grams, 42% more than the lowly 300g in the round pouch.

Now I’m no mathematician but even I can figure out that with the round crumpets I get 120 grams of crumpety goodness for my dollar, but the square crumpets offer up a lip-smacking 141.6g per dollar. That’s 17.5% more crumpet per dollar people!

But! Eating my second crumpet this morning I had an epiphany… it’s six crumpets either way! I won’t bother making generalisations about the wider population, I’m not a public health expert, but I know for a fact that the shape of my crumpets has no impact on how many crumpets I consume. So taking what we know from my ‘studies’ carried out above, I’m paying 50 cents per crumpet for squares when I could be paying just 42 cents for rounds.

They got me! Big Crumpet™ has tricked me into paying more per crumpet, and eating more crumpet-calories, for the same crumpet pleasure.

But it gets worse, it’s not the same pleasure, the square crumpets aren’t even as good. They have too much edge, and the edge crisps up too early in the toaster, so you’re forced to choose between over-crisp-crumpet-crimps or much-too-soft crumpet centres. The round crumpet is much more reliable. What a fool I’ve been

Note to self: don’t try to measure pleasure in grams (unless cocaine…), and buy round crumpets.