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"sweet" or "sour" -- which kind of chowhound are you?

i like hot, vinegary dishes -- or just plain vinegary or "sour" from acidity, like lemon or lime.

frank's red hot sauce or sriracha on eggs, potatoes, in clam chowder, etc....

texas pete's pepper vinegar on greens, or cuban black bean soup, or just big limas with ham and cornbread.

love, love, love thai green papaya salad, som tum, with its salty, sweet, sour & hot kick. drink the leftover dressing -- without shame!

load up my pad kee mao noodles with the chilies in vinegar, and that awesome red chili in vinegar paste.

love pickles of every stripe, including pickled vegetables like hot pickled okra. love pickled banana peppers on my pizza, picalilli on beans, sandwiches, giardiniera on pizza, or just to snack. branston pickle on a ploughman's lunch platter. dill pickle sandwich!

just had sour pickle with the "garlic sirloin" at the texas de brazil restaurant (delicious meal in all respects, btw). what a great combination: savory, juicy, garlicky beef and sour pickle!

want a squeeze of lemon on seafood, tandoori dishes, smoked salmon....

have a ton of different mustards.

love pickled capers, green olives stuffed with pimento, artichokes....

indian chutneys and sri lankan sambols.

thai, chinese & vietnamese hot & sour soups and salads. (want to explore korean food!).

sauerkraut and porcupine meatballs http://www.chow.com/recipes/13527 , or with charcuterie. (love smoked meat & seafood, too. related, you think?). speaking of smoked AND sour, i am crazy for eastern carolina-style Q.

ceviche. gosh, i love ceviche.

pico de gallo. fresh salsa. pickled jalapeños.

key lime pie! fresh lemonade -- or, even better -- fresh limeade.

i could go on, but you get the picture.

i'd rather have an appetizer in the realm of the sour/hot versus a dessert. don't get me wrong, i like desserts, but not too sweet.

so, overall, i'm a "sour" person. (my mom might heartily second that... or mr. alka! ha!).
(i *can* be sweet, though ;-).

how about you? are you a "sweet" or "sour" chowhound? and when did you discover this clear-cut preference?

ps, my next sister is like me, my older sister is a "sweet." my mom is a "sweet." mr. alka is a "sweet." i'm wondering if "sweets" outnumber "sours"?

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  1. Definitely sour.

    I love all sorts of pickled vegetables, with kimchi being at the top of the list.

    I can eat noodles (cold) with just a mixture of rice wine vinegar and diced garlic.

    I also like Chinese preserved plums and prunes.

    And don't even get me started on Sour Plum Juice ... there's nothing better than a tall cold glass of sour plum juice on a hot summer day.

    8 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      are you talking about umbushi plums the things you put in those seaweed rice triangles? they are my favourite food in the whole world since i was two!
      back to the question i'm a sour mostly i am one of those freaks who really dislikes achingly sweet things but interistingly i dislike creamy or greasy or fatty tastes even more, and this has been true for me before i even knew about calories, my dad is the same hates butter, fat on meet batter on anything cream etc... but i love sour i eat whole lemons rind and all and lemon juice straight when i go to a juice bar they always look at me like i'm crazy and say "maybe we should add a couple of oranges or whatever, no! just give me my lemon juice (i must add i do drink other juices at times too and am not putting down other juices, juices are great ;-))

      1. re: umbushi plum

        Yeah, umeboshi (Japanese pickled plums) are great ... forgot about those.

        I could suck down those things like a fish in water.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Umeboshi, yes.

          Sour all the way, especially as I've gotten older.

          Since all of us are saying this—doesn't it make sense that the more sophisticated/eclectic the tastes, the more likely to appreciate the more challenging ends of the spectrum (sour/bitter)?

          1. re: ipsedixit

            i know they rule i found a place where you can get a mixture of grilled eel and umeboshi plum paste triangles it isn't quite as good as the pure umeboshi but makes a nice change once in while ;-)

            1. re: ipsedixit

              i love umeboshi plums! my family who i visit in hawaii makes them from homemade. kinda strange, because they are filipino though

              1. re: ipsedixit

                More salt cured than pickled (and not really plums).

              2. re: umbushi plum

                Thoes triangles are musubi (see my "comfort foods" in amy profile) with umeboshi inside.

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  thanks they are my favourite food and i've been getting around just describing them everytime i tell someone about them

            2. Me too, SOUR...

              I love som tum, kimchee, sunomono, spicy pickles, tabasco, frank's red hot, sour patch kids, extreme sour warheads, sour gummy worms, sour plums, etc...

              I also like to add salt to some things in order to up the sour quotient - such as green mangoes w/ salt & hot chili pepper, lemons, nectarine, etc.

              I was also this close to purchasing some bulk citric acid powder just so I could sour up my drinks...

              http://www.naturesflavors.com/product...

              Can you imagine blending your own super sour, fizzy grapefruit flavored drink? I'm puckering up just thinking about it!

              1. The Brits use the term"savory"; sweet and savory. I'm a savory character, like a lot of spice, salt, sourness over sweet. My wife, on the other hand, is an unsavory character; a bad chocoholic. Gimme a raw oyster w/ Tabasco any day. She's a Godiva girl. (He, he.)

                Just call us Mrs. Sweet and Mr Savory

                3 Replies
                1. re: Passadumkeg

                  they use savory to denote sourness? i associate savory with umami, some kind of "meatiness" for lack of a better word.

                  Tastes:
                  Bitterness
                  Saltiness
                  Sourness
                  Sweetness
                  Umami
                  [Fattiness? yes! according to wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste . good article, btw].

                  i'm sure your wife would be delighted with being called an unsavory chocoholic. ;-).

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    Brits - and Canadians etc - would say "savoury". I'm definitely savoury, and while I love some sours, my tummy couldn't abit the sourness of the initial post.

                    In French, one says "salé" - that does not mean overly salty, but the non-sweet dishes that would be seasoned with salt, not sugar.

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      I definitely prefer savory flavors accented with a little heat and a nice balance of sweet, sour, and salt. But I am definitely sweet!

                    2. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but there are a few sweet chili suaces, e.g. Lingham's from Malaysia (there are others), that are pretty good.

                      1. I grew up on Filipino food so of course I love sour flavors. Bright coconut vinegar in a chicken adobo. Fresh calamondin tarting up a plate of pancit. Lemon and vinegar competing in a bowl of dinuguan. The table isn't set until you bring out the bowl of chili vinegar and garlic to splash liberally on anything that needs a touch more of sour.

                        Now as a more urbane adult, I get my sour fix more globally. Kimchi from Korea, vindaloo from Goa, Larb from Laos.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: JungMann

                          So you've been to Laos? Who do you think makes better Larb? The northern Laotians in Luang Prabang, central Laotians in Vientiane, or southern Laotians in Savannakhet? On average, I think I prefer Larb made by southern Laotians.

                          1. re: yummyrice

                            Laab (how does it get translated to "larb"?): But fully agree - Savannakhet or my house is best.

                            1. re: yummyrice

                              To clarify I haven't had the larb in Laos, nor the kimchi in Korea, but I do enjoy the international flavors of both dishes and more.

                              Sam, I suspect Laotian, and Thai in my experience, may suffer some of the creeping Rs one finds in certain Mandarin dialects. I typically see the word rendered as "larb" stateside and have seen beef rendered as "nua," "nuer" and "nuar."

                              1. re: JungMann

                                LOL! This is a late response but you guys are right that there is no "R" sound in Larb, but I'm using one of the transcription systems that is commonly used here in the SF Bay Area.

                                So "AR" is pronounced as "AA". =)

                                I guess the reason why we use the R letter is because we want people to know that the A in Larb is pronounced similar to the A in Car, Far, and especially Lard...LOL! But again, just don't pronounce the R in Larb.

                          2. Clearly alakapal, sours are so far in the lead! I too am a sour (my Hub would be a neutral...definitely *not* sweet, but not wholly given to the sour...gads that sounds like a marriage counseling role-play...:-) ) in every way. You did a great job of listing dishes and condiments (dammit...makes me hungry!).

                            I'll add that I will use sweet in concert with sour (sweet-sour cabbage, tart cherry compote, kefir and fruit dessert soups) or as a compliment to the salty of certain meat dishes (although those sweets are usually acid-y sweet flavors), but I do not like pure *sweet*. There has to be some other flavor equal to or exceeding the sweet taste.

                            May I hijack and pose a corollary question? If you are a 'sour,' is this something that has come with age? Also, vice versa with the 'sweets.' I know quite a number of people who have morphed during their lifetimes. I have always liked sour, but also reallllly liked sweet as a much younger person. I know other folks who as they age become much more enamoured of the sweet versus the acidic.

                            Curious,

                            Cay

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: cayjohan

                              i'm 17 now (see above straight lemon juice etc) and i've been this way since i was little, one of my frineds in the sixth grade got me smoked almonds and almond paste as a present instead of candy and although i like some chocolate i can take it or leave it so at easter i used to get clothes instead of eggs ;-) and as i said in my other post i've never liked fatty creamy greasy things, i also remember only eating minties (they're chewy menthol mints i don't know if they are only in australia or not) and no other sweet candy apart from the black jelly beans and liquiroce and even then only sometimes.

                              1. re: cayjohan

                                Cay, not rain on your corollary, but I was sneaking swigs out of the vinegar bottle by 7, when sweeet-toothed bro' was doing the same thing with the chocolate syrup. sour/savoury/creamy all the way for me!

                              2. Sour! Always have been. As a kid my dentist raked me over the coals for eating so many lemons, said they would eat away my tooth enamel.

                                Like you, I like my sweets, but not too sweet. But given the choice of cheese/fruit or decadent pastry for dessert- I'll go with the cheese/fruit 80% of the time.

                                1. Sour here too.

                                  I don't mind the occasional sweet, but overall, I like sour, vinegary, savory things far better. Give me wine and stinky cheese over a chocolate cake anyday.

                                  1. Why do I have to choose one or the other? I love both.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Sooeygun

                                      Sooeygun, I'm with you! I swing back and forth between sweet and sour and back again all day, all night. It is contrast and variety I crave. Big bowl of chips, red velvet cake, back to the pickles, onto bacon, then some fruit, then some cheese, swing swing swing....

                                      Really, as long as it doesn't involve green onions, I am pretty happy!

                                      1. re: Sooeygun

                                        Yep, I'm both. Wax banana peppers, sour pepper rings on my sandwiches, olives, pickles, mustard, marinated vegetables, beef jerky, potato chips, smokehouse almonds, chili-cheese fritos, buffalo wings, to name a few, but on the flip side....Ice cream, all chocolate (give me a mixed pound of See's and you won't see me for a few hours), caramel corn, butterscotch pudding, cheesecake, apple turnovers, Coke....you get the idea.

                                      2. I like sour.
                                        I like desert, but I rarely eat it because I'm too full from before. I like Olives and tomatoes, and real home made lemonade :D

                                        1. Sour all the way for me. My father introduced me to capers as a pizza topping when I was 4. And your list of stuff is fantastic!

                                          1. Sour. When I go to a Persian or Afghan restaurant, I order a pitcher of doogh even when nobody wants to share.

                                            I detest the whole "I cannot believe its yogurt" phenomenon. Dammit, I want my yogurt to taste like yogurt. I no longer buy the ones with fruit because they have turned yogurt into a dessert.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: Steve

                                              Steve: Are you my twin separated at birth?

                                              I too like sour and pungent tastes, though now and again I get a sweet tooth too.

                                              But I much prefer salty lassis (lassi can be made with buttermilk or with diluted yogurt) to sweet ones, and love doogh.

                                              I also stay away from the sweetened yogurts. I like yogurt plain at the end of a meal, or with leftover dal, or sabzi, or some kind of pickle mixed in (e.g. lemon pickle, mango pickle, green chili pickle etc.)

                                              My perfect comfort food is South Indian yogurt rice (tempered with hing, mustard seed, red chillis, curry leaves, salt) with homemade lemon pickle.

                                              1. re: Rasam

                                                I thought lassi made with buttermilk is chaas.

                                                Either way, I detest the sweetish milkshakes that get passed as lassi at restaurants. Give me some sour yogurt, water, salt and cumin and I'm in heaven.

                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                  There's chaas and mattha. But all seem to get translated into English as buttermilk.... Personally I am happy to drink either, especially if salty with the ingredients you described + pinch of hing. Or even Kerala style with pinches of green chillies, curry leaves, cilantro. You have to do a bit of chewing though....

                                                  A funny story once years ago at a Hare Krishna Restaurant somewhere in the Midwest. The menu advertised sweet lassi. I asked could they give me salty instead. The waiter looked funny, but checked with the kitchen and said OK.
                                                  They brought me the base sweet lassi, with salt and cumin thrown on top. ICKCKCKCKK!!!

                                                2. re: Rasam

                                                  thayir sadam is the best! with mango thokku especially

                                                  1. re: Rasam

                                                    7:15 am when I realize I have no lunch meat or anything except leftover rice to send to school...chopping the ginger, heating the oil, etc.

                                                    DD: Mom, what's my lunch today?
                                                    Me: Yogurt rice.
                                                    DD (excitedly): With *things* in it?
                                                    Me: Yes sweetie, with things in it.

                                                    BTW, dd prefers savory foods just like her mommy.

                                                3. Sour pow'r! I too drink the leftover dressing from the som tum salad, even when I make my not so authetic version at home (I use cabbage instead of green papaya). Pickles, vinegars, lime and lemon juices. Love sauerkraut . My kids eat lemons, too. I do have a dark (as in dark chocolate) side, but it doesn't show its face too often.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                    1. re: mkmccp

                                                      And I thought I was the only one who drank the leftover som tum dressing!

                                                      1. re: MartinDC

                                                        Me Three on the som tum dressing! I like to dip sticky rice in it, drizzle it over chicken, and sometimes just slurp it out of the bowl! Yum.

                                                    2. Big sour! Matches my personality ;)

                                                      1. Sour:
                                                        Sauerkraut, kimchi, tom yum, som tum,

                                                        However ... why is it so rare to get a Hot and Sour Soup that actually is sour anymore? I remember when the soup was fairly new to U.S., it was generally very sour! What's the deal?

                                                        1. I equate sour with something unpleasant. I do love tart foods. Maybe it is just semantics.

                                                          1. Fans of sour should go to your nearest Japanese market and grab some karikari ume. They's individually wrapped crunchy pickled ume usually sold in the snack aisle. Not as salty or intensely sour as typical umeboshi, they make an awesome snack. Hard for me not to go through a whole bag once I open it.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: huaqiao

                                                              they sound great crunchy umeboshi, hmm i think i could get quite addictied to those!

                                                            2. i was just thinking i another sure sign of a savoury or sour as we are saying is with things like cottage cheese i didn't even know people ate it as a sweet thing, i always had it savoury with canned tuna in oil (great combo!) or avacado and tomato salt pepper in lasagne etc.. also french toast i never knew until i went on this site that it wasn't eaten as a savoury my dad would cook it for dinner just plain with salt and pepper and sometimes scrambled eggs and spinach and tomatos, so is that consistent with your sweet or sour position ?

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: umbushi plum

                                                                i don't know, i guess it would depend on what you put with cottage cheese. in sw fla, we would eat it with fresh juicy summer tomatoes, and a sprinkle of lawrey's seasoned salt (savory).

                                                                my mom also used to make the "pear salad" with a canned pear half on a butter lettuce leaf, the pear filled with cottage cheese, sprinkled with some grated cheddar, and a maraschino cherry on top. like this: http://farmhousestyle.blogspot.com/20...

                                                                a simpler option was the canned cling peach halves in syrup, served with the cottage cheese. both fruit "salads" are sweet and savory combos. and....great nostalgia. maybe i'll make some for her when i see her in april, Lord willing!

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  I love canned peaches and pears with cottage cheese. I actually prefer the canned fruit to fresh fruit with cottage cheese, it just goes so well together.

                                                              2. I would crawl a mile through mud for cheese/crackers/savoury/sour. Have been known to drink vinegar straight from the bottle.

                                                                I am completely meh about sweet foods.

                                                                1. I guess I'm going to have to sit on the fence on this one because I can't say I prefer one above the other. Well, as a matter of fact, I am a REAL fence sitter because really good "sweet and sour" is one of my favorite dishes! But let me quickly add I have only ONCE in all of my life had "good" sweet and sour in the United States. But I do have an authentic Chinese (Yes! From CHINA!) recipe for sweet and sour that I make at home and friends adore. One of the things I love about it is that if you inhale when you're eating it, it will take your breath away. The only other time I've had something similar to that happen was with the first hot sake I was served with my first kaiseki meal when I was around 22 or 23. You almost didn't have to drink it; just hold the cup to your lips and the vapors climbed into your mouth with no effort from you! I love foods with "magic" properties like that. But there aren't many of them.

                                                                  I do love the complimentary "color scheme" that sweet and sour foods at the same meal bring. I hadn't really given much thought to it before, but when I make a sweet dish, I always add a little salt, as I think most cooks do. But conversely, when I make a salty or sour dish, such as a vinaigrette or a tuna salad, I also add a pinch of sugar For me, it just keeps things balanced.

                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                      Ok, Sam, I have a challenge for you. Perhaps you already are familiar with something like this:

                                                                      As a sour fan, I don't back down from much, but the most sour thing I've ever had was a glass of barberry/cherry juice at an Armenian juice bar in Glendale, CA. I still don't see how this was made for human consumption. I took a total of four sips. The only reason I took more than one sip was because of my disbelief that anything could be that sour.

                                                                      I took my last sip just before throwing the rest of it away. Sucking on a fresh lemon would have been more refreshing.

                                                                      1. re: Steve

                                                                        We have these great and big sour juicy lemons here in Colombia. My favorite drink is based on squeezing the juice out of a whole box, gives me a few quarts. When thirsty, I pour 25%, lemon juice, 75% cold water and drink. I rarely have desserts. We have to go together for the barberry juice.

                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                          I got some Barberry (I think) from a persian store, and boy was that SOUR!! Good stuff!
                                                                          I love to add a little salt to it, used to drink Sumac juice all the time with a dash of salt. So good.

                                                                          1. re: Steve

                                                                            I suck on lemons all the time. Wish I could try the juice!

                                                                            1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                              I thought I was the only one who did that :)

                                                                              After every drink or salad where there's a lemon or lime slice, I collect them all, sprinkle s&p, and munch them, skins and all.

                                                                        2. another sour puss here........very interesting that the sour's have such a commanding lead

                                                                          your list was fantastic....a few more of my favorites:

                                                                          Iced Tea with tons of lemon, no sugar. You should see the looks I get when I ask for unsweetened tea here in NC!

                                                                          An Arnold Palmer is a great drink too....half unsweetened tea, half lemonade

                                                                          Martinis - the dirtier the better

                                                                          1. I'm a little surprised by how lopsided the responses are, but I wonder if the initial post hasn't skewed the responses. If one started a similar thread but listed all sorts of wonderful sweet dishes in the beginning rather than sour ones, I'm guessing you'd hear from a lot more sugar-heads.

                                                                            Anyway, count me as a lone dissenter, a defintie sugar-head. My favorite dishes tend to be the ones that activate all the taste centers, but it's sweetness I miss when it's not there. I've often found myself thinking, that dish was pretty good, but it would have been better if it had a sweet element. I can't remember ever thinking that about sour.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Low Country Jon

                                                                              I wonder if it's gender biased or chowhounds are not the norm(al). Men are from sour, women are from chocolate.

                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                i'd venture half the posters here are women, and they prefer sour to sweet. maybe chowhounds *are* different from the general population. now we have to ask our friends and family.....

                                                                                they'll say <groaning>, "oh, right..it's *chowhound* again!!!"

                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                  I suggested as much about hounds above.

                                                                                2. re: Low Country Jon

                                                                                  low country jon, well, we could see. start the thread, or hijack this one! ;-). i did say sour is what *I* loved, after all.

                                                                                  i allowed that most of my close family were "sweets," too -- and even wondered if that was the typical ratio.

                                                                                  but, you don't have to "dissent" -- it is about what *you* like. make your list here!

                                                                                  "sweet jon" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc26EF...

                                                                                3. I am mostly a sour/savory sort of Chowhound. I still drink pickle juice on occasion, love things with lemon, sometimes put vinegar in my water first thing in the morning to wake up my tastebuds.

                                                                                  Sure, I like desserts, but they will always be trumped by the other flavors, which seem so much more versatile and interesting to me.

                                                                                  1. I couldn't possibly define myself as one or the other...all flavours are wonderful and hit the spot when needed...It depends on the occasion, the mood, the time of the month!, the company...and no great meal would be complete without a luscious dessert to end on a sweet note (imho).

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Paula76

                                                                                      definately sour... pickles, capers, lemons, vinigary- hot sauces, vinegar slaws.... yummmmm

                                                                                    2. alkapal, I think you're my long lost twin , lol. Count me in as a sour sister.

                                                                                      my fridge is so full of mustards, hot sauces, pickles etc etc, that there are times it looks full, but theres actually nothing to eat in there. I go through hot sauce like kids go through ketchup. There is no jam in my fridge except when I need apricot to glaze something.

                                                                                      I crave the green papaya salad, and only one restaurant two hours away makes it. LOVE hot and sour soup.

                                                                                      I'd take an appetizer over dessert ANY day, which is probably a good thing, as I love to bake but mostly for other people. Chocolate lives forever in my cupboard (well, as long as it's not a peanut butter cup but that's got a bit of salty in there), and if i make a cheesecake i'm never tempted to sneak a bit.

                                                                                      Have you tried Liberte Meditteranean lemon yogurt yet? Also, I have a bean salad recipe that includes pickled ginger, and I love it.

                                                                                      I am not a fan of alcoholic drinks that are sweet, with the exception of a couple of liquers (I can never spell that right) like Drambuie or Irish Mist, or maybe a rum and diet coke. I love a margarita with lots of salt and very tart, and a martini with olive please. I LOVE a good bloody caesar with extra tabasco. Otherwise leave the blender/ girlie drinks alone. Mostly I'm a red wine drinker, and any time I see a description that includes "smokey" or tobacco, i'm all over it.

                                                                                      As for smoked, I don't eat meat, and very very rarely seafood anymore (I do love smoked salmon), but give me a smoked cheese, smoked paprika or smoked salt any day.

                                                                                      I buy almond-stuffed olives and eat them like candy. They are ADDICTIVE.

                                                                                      *hands around the dill pickle potato chips for the sour party* :)

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                        Well, if you want a sweet and sour trip for your taste buds, take kettle fried dill weed potato chips, dip them in a great chocolate ganache, let the ganache harden and you're in for a great treat! I don't make them any more because I eat them ALL by myself! Miss Piggy! <oink>>oink<

                                                                                      2. Can I be both together? I love super lemon/apple candies, li hing mui, red and green sour patch kids, honey mustard, and pickled ginger (obviously). They candies had better be truly sour, though, none of that sweet candy masquerading as mouth-puckering.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: pickledginger

                                                                                          I like sweet& sour, sweet, and umami. If fatty is truly included, I'm there! Dislike sour, bitter, chiles, and salty.

                                                                                        2. I definitely prefer sour over sweet. I'm not sure if it is a by-products of being a baker and the sugar overload, but most baked goods are much too sweet for my personal preference.

                                                                                          1. Another sour, though I must specify that I am a spicy sour. Leftover pickle water is poured down the drain, not drunk.

                                                                                            And of course all of the "sweets" passed by this post once they saw that it wasn't about Kripy Kreme Donuts.

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: chilihead

                                                                                              I started a thread about drinking pickle juice once, but for some reason I got the axe. Do it all the time. Occasionally mix it with gin. Not that I'm bragging.

                                                                                              1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                aha! that drink will really get ya pickled.

                                                                                              2. re: chilihead

                                                                                                You've broken my heart - I'd gladly take that pickle juice off your hands. Whenever I have enough juice from a jar of bread&butter pickles, I heat it up, pour it over a bowl of still-hot, just-cooked beans and mix in some thin-sliced onion. A day in the fridge, and it's a delicious cold side dish.

                                                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                  ooooh, great idea!!!!!!

                                                                                                  come to think of it, that reminds me of the marinade for a three-bean salad. love that salad!

                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                    Pour it over fresh chopped cabbage, for a quickie slaw.

                                                                                                2. Definantly SOUR. Love love love it.

                                                                                                  1. i like a balance. i'm ALL for sour foods of the nature you listed, but if i have too much, i start to crave that something sweet.

                                                                                                    1. It doesn't break down into sour vs. sweet for me. I love som tum too, but only like capers if they're very subtly added to something. I like lots of lime but not necessarily lemon, unless it's in a more subtle blend.

                                                                                                      I do like the way Thai cooking views things. As templeofthai.com's recipe section mentions: "The best Thai cooking uses the freshest ingredients available to create the unique Thai taste. Thai taste can be defined as the use of all 5 flavors: spicy, sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Only Thai cuisine brings out all of these flavors to play together harmoniously in a meal."

                                                                                                      I also like sour or sweet when it's an accent and not the dominant thing... one of my favorite things is jasmine rice with cilantro stir-fried in a little coconut oil and shallots with salt. It sort of showcases the salt. One of the best caesar salads I had included filet mignon medallions and deep-fried capers... those were amazing, added the perfect subtle, salty, briny touch without the KAPOW of just regular pickled peppercorns.

                                                                                                      Not so much into sweet - I like it as an accent, not the overpowering thing.

                                                                                                      But I'm fine with strong jolts of salty or spicy/hot or vinegar/lime.

                                                                                                      1. Sour here, alkapal.

                                                                                                        I much prefer a vinegar BBQ sauce to a sweeter, tomato based one. Sauerkraut. Lemons. Limes. Zingy, tangy sauces. Mustard over Ketchup, etc. Can’t stand sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows, ick! And spaghetti sauce with brown sugar, forget it!

                                                                                                        When it comes to sweet, I go for cakes, cookies and pies (and usually early in the day).

                                                                                                        1. Not sweet.

                                                                                                          If I'm eating two courses, it'll be starter and main - not main and dessert.

                                                                                                          1. I prefer sour over sweet...I especially love a combination of sour and salty.

                                                                                                            1. definitely sour! pickles, giardenera, capers, olives, vinegar, hot sauces, lemon water, iced tea with just lemon, ceviche (mmmmm!!!!), fresh limey salsa, saurkraut, mustards, hot sauces again.... yeah i'd take cheese over dessert any day. Or just give me some sour patch kids :-)

                                                                                                              1. I am weird I think because I like both I love sour candies and I make my namesake Pikiliz which is cabbage carrots onions and habaneros in white vinegar with salt... but I also make a sweet/hot peanut-coconut milk curry dish I use palm sugar in that and it is awesome

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: pikiliz

                                                                                                                  pikiliz, please give details on your condiment....."pikiliz".

                                                                                                                2. this recipe for sweet and sour cipollini onions looks great for thanksgiving (or any autumn or winter meal). i might use craisins instead of the raisins, too.
                                                                                                                  http://images.google.com/imgres?imgur...

                                                                                                                  1. I just gave up chocolate, ice cream and my morning cup of strong black coffee, and oh yes, wine too. Of the 4 my morning cup of strong black, rich coffee is by far the most difficult. No desores for the other 3!

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                      poor passa! are you purging these from your repertoire for a purpose?

                                                                                                                    2. once i read in the paper that people who like sour foods are adventurous eaters, and the other way around are not.

                                                                                                                      super sour! i can eat so sour that steam comes out of my ears and i love it. on the other hand, my sugar tolerance is low. i like very few sweet things [unless when i go to Germany or Portugal... or such sweet countries with great pastries.] not only i hate sugar because it senseless, but also because it hurts everything inside my mouth, and makes me feel physically sick in the tummy.

                                                                                                                      going to dulce de leche land in a couple of weeks and my teeth are already hurting in anticipation!

                                                                                                                      1. I'm with you on everything you said. I have to have a squeeze of lemon in my chicken noodle soup and even a pasta alfredo or anything in a "cream" sauce (milk) I squeeze lemon over it to cut the richness or else I can't stomach it.

                                                                                                                        Lemons and limes are my most precious ingredients, and if I ran out I'll use vinegar. A splash of pickling juice from the jar in my fridge often goes into many recipes and pasta salads/salad dressings.

                                                                                                                        Whenever I make salad the ratio is more like 4 parts lemon juice to 1 part oil, I don't care for the emulsion of oil that coats everything, I want acidity!

                                                                                                                        I discovered I was a "sour" person (:P I can be pretty sweet too!) When I was a child, didn't go for sweet things and am not even a dessert person. I loved dipping fresh rhubarb into salt and gnawing at it. Dipping sour plums in salt and eating, or even salting my pomegranates to give them a more "sour" edge than sweet (Try it if you haven't!)
                                                                                                                        I'm not too proud of the amount of salt I've eaten, and I've definitely toned it down since learning about the harms of salt, but back then no one told us and we literally ate through a whole pile of salt in one sitting.

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: BamiaWruz

                                                                                                                          i salt my grapefruits, and melons.

                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                            for the most part my salads get only vinegar and salt..... lol I squeeze lemon or lime juice on most things and i salt everything.... but salting grapefruits? hmmm sounds delicious!!!

                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                Same here with the grapefruit, oranges too.

                                                                                                                        2. vinegar lovers who also drink martinis: check out these tomolives! pickled baby green tomatoes: http://www.oldsouth.com/

                                                                                                                          many of those old south "pickled" thingies look so appetizing.

                                                                                                                          ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                          winter drink of choice: "salty dog" with fresh-squeezed ruby red or white grapefruit juice. vodka, salt. make it pretty by adding cranberry juice, or float some cranberries in the drink.

                                                                                                                          1. Why not both sweet and hot? Sweet with outrageous amounts of chili peppers is a match made in heaven.