Friday, July 16, 2010

Sweet vs Savoury

If you could only choose to eat one or the other for the rest of your life, would you choose sweet or savoury?
About a month ago now a friend and I struck on this topic. We were having wine and cheese and he made a comment about how he wished he could live in a wine store with a cheese store attached. I agreed but added, "Oh! And a pastry shop too!" And, to my absolute surprise he said, "uhh no, not really for me." He said he could eat only savoury for the rest of his life and I told him that I could not fathom that. Then last week I asked my sister-in-law and her husband the above question and they both answered "savoury." I started looking at my favorite savoury foods: honey garlic chicken wings, my Uncle Doug's Spaghetti sauce (with brown sugar), Chili Chicken from Earl's with their sweet thai chili sauce... Almost all of my favorite savoury dishes have a very sweet component to them. That's not to say that I don't like any foods that are strictly savoury. I love bread. Freshly baked bread. If I could, I really would live on bread alone. However, the bible advises against it, therefore, we must tread outside the realm of bread. I love steak, I love trout, I love sushi (which granted, does have a sugary component in the rice)... Green beans I am definately a fan of and I would never turn down a full turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, stuffing and the like. So, I do definately like the savoury aspect, but, I think there are alot of savoury dishes I don't like because of certain ingredients that I don't like. Mushrooms, onions, cilantro, black pepper, tomato sauces typically... And that makes up a whole load of savoury components. People who like savoury foods typically enjoy mushroom caps or sauteed onions or caesars. I, on the other hand, do not. So anyway, while I can't say that I really love cakes or rich desserts or super sugary things, I still think I'd have to cast my vote on the eternal commitment to sweet over savoury.
So, in light of this epiphany, not only on my behalf, but on my friends' as well who all cast their vote towards savoury, I have decided to revamp my cooking a bit. While baking is my delight, and baking by nature is often more sweet than savoury, I am going to strive to make more savoury dishes for these friends of mine who are most prone to dine at my house. In fact, now that I think about it, everyone who is most likely to eat here would probably say "savoury". Save, perhaps, my one sister-in-law who is very similar to me in tastes. But anyway, if you look at one of the last big meals I made for company: Teriyaki Duck Rolls, Duck breast with Prune Coffee Syrup, Duck Breast with a sweetened Balsamic Reduction, Coconut shrimp, mango slaw and a pesto pasta salad. That's a whole lot of sweet. I mean, clearly it's a whole lot of good, but our friend who is particularly savoury oriented was over that night. So the next time I have people over, perhaps I'll do Rosemary Roast Chicken sandwiches with a roasted red pepper cream sauce and artichokes, puff pastry pinwheels with crab filling and a ratatouille salad. And my desserts can be more savoury-friendly too. I think I briefly mentioned wanting to make up a dessert lasagna recipe in a previous post. Today I kinda more definately mapped out what that dessert will look like. The strawberry sauce in lieu of the meat sauce will be stewed strawberries with limoncello, lemon basil and mint. The layers will be phyllo, the strawberry sauce, brie and asiago on top. Yummy eh? And not too sweet! And perhaps I'll get back into my poached pear phase. There are infinite possibilities with poached pears!
Anyway, today has been kinda sucky again due to another night of crappy sleep and still feeling sick. We're coming up on 3 weeks now. I'd really ought to go to the doctor's, but I just plain don't want to. But that's okay, I'm going to have an awesome day tomorrow - sick or no! And for dinner tonight - pancakes!

Mrs. Vander Leek ;)

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