Recipes fit for a Samurai.

"You are what you eat". If it's true what they say, then Gintoki is definitely made up of sugar, spice and everything absolutely fattening nice. But mostly sugar. Gintoki's addiction to all things sweet is something that's canon from the very beginning of the manga: his first appearance happens simply because his beloved parfait is knocked over by an Amanto (who grows angry at Shinpachi, a worker there) at the cafe he's eating at. Though his actions appear noble--as if he's trying to help out the young four eyes--he's simply in it to get revenge for the life of his parfait. It seems pretty heartless, but Gintoki openly confesses his love for sugar and claims that he won't be able to make it through the day if he doesn't eat his sweets.

Gintoki's addiction to sweets seems to add a little bit of boyish charm to his usually prickly personality. Considering that things like chocolate releases endorphins and other things that trigger happiness, his addiction to sugar is probably something like a drug to help ease him through what usually ends up as a back-breaking, migraine-inducing kind of day. His former war veteran comrades also associate Gintoki's addiction to sugar as a reasoning for him "softening up" after the war and no longer having the will to fight. Here's a small section to expose a little bit of Gintoki's sugary side.

Here's the power balance in this house: me first, sweets second. Remember that! --Sakata Gintoki

Uji Gintoki-don, the Gintoki Special.

The Uji Gintoki-don is a bowl of rice topped with sweet azuki beans, an order made especially for Gintoki. Even though this seems particularly unusual (or even disgusting, depending on how you feel about azuki beans) Gintoki claims that it's a perfectly normal order since "carbohydrates and sweets have gone together even since the olden days", citing anpan and cake as examples. The Gintoki-don seems to be proof that even on basic foods like rice, the permed samurai is more than willing to top it with something to satisfy his sugar-craving taste buds. According to Gintoki, the Sandwich Shogun created the dish when he was too lazy to eat his main dish and dessert separately, and thus combined them together in a bowl. However, it's pretty obvious that he just wants to top his food with a disgusting amount of sweets no matter what he's eating. At one point, he even considers adding azuki beans to strawberry milk--the ultimate indulgent treat. So in other words, when it comes to this form of "condiment", it's not that he wants to add something sweet to his salty meal, just that he wants to eat something sweet all the damn time.

The Gintoki-don is such an iconic item from the series that when Namco-Namja Town was promoting Shinyaku Benizakura-hen, fans could order a dessert version of the Uji Gintoki-don at eateries in the area. The dessert consisted of red bean, mochi, brown sugar, soft cream, cereal and Glico Pretz. You can see an image of the Gintoki-don special here! Looks tasty, right?

That's just 'cause it's so lollied.

So long as he can afford it, you'd be hard pressed to find Gintoki within arm's reach of something sweet and sugary. Even Gintoki's many "alter-egos", such as Ginpachi Sensei, are often a big fan of sweets. You won't find Ginpachi Sensei without him sporting his popular "smoking lolli". Sure, you may think he's breaking all sorts of classroom rules by smoking in front of his students, but it's not a cigarette, just your usual cavities on a stick. Except this lolli is way more lollied than your average lolli. So lollied in fact, that it smokes. I'd try and break this down for you and analyze it and how it fits into Gintoki's psyche like any good shrine owner would, but I'm not a good shrine owner, and there's no use in trying to break down Gintoki logic.

The Truth About Strawberry Milk.

However, Gintoki's love for sweets doesn't stop at his devouring of them. He even uses them to make elaborate, memetic analogies for the little lessons about life. Even though he blames the idiocy of today's youth and other things on calcium deficiency, Gintoki is pretty much only ever seen drinking milk when it's strawberry flavored. (As a matter of fact, he's so adamant about it that he even walks uninvited into the Sketdan's club room during the Gintama x Sket Dance crossover and demands strawberry milk from Bossun.) In an attempt to describe the push and pull of one's inner conscience when deciding whether or not to help a client, Gintoki uses pissing one's pants due to strawberry milk as a metaphor for this feeling.

Listen up! Let's say you drink too much strawberry milk, and have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. But it's cold outside your bed. You don't want to get up, but the urge to urinate is just too strong! You make up your mind to go! You run to the bathroom, stand in front of the toilet, and let loose! You think that all your life has led to this moment! But then you realize! It isn't the bathroom! You're still in bed! That feeling of lukewarm wetness spreads like wildfire! But you don't stop! You can't stop! That's what I'm talking about! That's the truth of strawberry milk! --Sakata Gintoki, Episode 11
Like said, this speech has become such an internet meme that people who aren't even aware of Gintama are familiar with it, but it doesn't stop them from chanting "Strawberry milk! Strawberry milk!" like Gintoki's observers in the manga do. Essentially what Gintoki is saying is that sometimes there are just things you have to do, things that are just ultimately uncontrollable, no matter how much of a pain in the ass it is. Things like wetting the bed. And yeah, probably that strawberry milk is so delicious to the point that it can become the focal point in an inspirational speech.