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Equally sweet and savory

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Eating my ginger creme brulee ice cream this morning (yes, it's breakfast...what of it?) it struck me that the last time I tasted something so strongly gingery was when eating sushi. Ginger seems to be one of those ingredients that goes equally well in sweet and savory dishes. Lemon and lime are another example.

What else do you use in both sweet and savory? Anything that works unexpectedly well in one or the other?

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  1. Nuts.....all sorts of nuts, in baked goods as well as in curries or on top of salads
    Currants and raisins, dried figs. In salads, apps, and lots of baked goods.
    Cream cheese in cakes and dips
    Rice. puddings and bases for many savory dishes
    Cinnamon, nutmeg, in pastas, moroccan dishes etc etc, as well as baked goods and atop beverages
    Chocolate, in mole, on it's own, or in loads of sweet dishes
    Chilies....in just about anything savory, and bless the souls who thought this one up, in chocolate.

    1. Eggs are #1 when it comes to versatility!

      Savory quiches and omelets
      Sweet or savory souffles and bread puddings
      Sweet custards and creams.
      MMMMMmmm, eggs!

      And, um, bacon chocolate anyone?

      1. Interesting post!
        Chilis/peppers
        Chocolate
        Peanutbutter/Peanuts
        Raisins
        Pumpkin
        Sweet potatoes
        Stout/porter/wine
        Avocado

        2 Replies
        1. re: almccasland

          I'm glad I'm not the only one who recognizes that avocado goes equally well in sweet and savory preparations. When Gail Simmons snidely called one of this season's Top Chef offerings of avocado mousse "basically sweet guacamole," I wanted to throw my avocado ice cream at the tv for what was one of the dummest comments I've heard on tv yet.

          Other additions to the list:
          Dates
          Cardamom
          Vanilla
          Saffron
          Wasabi

          1. re: JungMann

            Oh dear.... sweet guacamole does NOT sound like something that should ever come to be. Avocado mousse sounds fantastic, though!

            Good call on the wasabi. I once had green apple-wasabi gelato. I loved the flavor, but the texture wasn't very pleasing. It was the gelato maker, though, as all of the flavors had that unfortunate feel.

        2. Are there more foods that can be sweet and savory than not? Meats can be made w/ prunes, dried fruit for a sweetish taste. There's candied bacon. Even salt has become part of dessert. Vegetables in slaws are sweet. This is a good question and the more I thought about it, the more I decided there aren't many foods that can't be either sweet or savory.