Debate: sweet vs savoury

There are so many delicious savoury and sweet foods, but which one wins out if you had to choose?  PerfectlyRandom argues that savoury is the way to go, whereas TheRationalOptimist argues that you can’t go past sweet treats.


Here’s why you don’t need to look any further than savoury foods: pork crackling. Crisps. Peking duck. Steaming bowls of Vietnamese pho. Sticky BBQ baby back ribs. Fresh king prawns. Rare fillet steak cooked to perfection.

Need I go on?

When people imagine a sad, lonely, slightly overweight lady belting out “all by myself” on her own in her pyjamas on a Saturday night, I can assure you they’re not picturing her with a side of beef on her sofa. Oh no. What they’re picturing is half eaten bars of chocolates, a giant tub of ice cream with a spoon sticking out, and cake. Lots of cake.

That’s because sweets are where sad people go.

When you’re feeling happy, and up beat, and healthy, I’ll guarantee you’re thinking about what delicious savoury morsel you’re going to have at your next meal before you get to any form of sweet. Because savoury comes first, every time.

Had to choose one thing to live on for the rest of your life? I’m willing to put money on you considering chicken, or pasta, or pork. Sure, brownies and ice cream are nice – but could you really live off them? That constant sticky, sweet, claggy feeling in your mouth after every bite, of every meal, for the rest of your life? I didn’t think so.

Oh, and as if you need another reason why savoury kicks sweets arse: cheese. That’s all I’m saying. CHEESE.

2012-11-24 13.05.21


There is no doubt that there are many savoury delicacies that are worth giving up your new years diet for, but when it comes to indulgences and cravings, it’s all about the sweet.

Cravings for chocolate are commonplace, particularly amongst women and particularly when we’re in an energy slump – it’s an instant mood lifter. Boxes of chocolates are a default gift when you have no idea what to give someone because everyone likes chocolate, and somehow a box of sausages doesn’t quite convey the same sentimentality. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because if we think about all the range of sweet treats, there’s no argument that savoury just doesn’t cut it compared the sugary stuff.

Firstly, there’s a reason why dessert is the final course, and that’s because you save the best until last. You can finish your meal with just the lingering sweetness in your mouth, the end of the culinary journey.

Jonah's Whale Beach mille feuille dessert

Birthday and wedding celebrations are always paired with cake, because that is what makes the celebration special. Even just the mention of cake will have people fantasising about their favourite type, whether it be a baked cheesecake, a chocolate mud cake, a black forest cake, sticky toffee pudding, orange and poppyseed cake, a carrot cake, or a fruit flan (I bet you’re thinking of your favourite cake right now!). Imagine a children’s birthday party with the birthday boy blowing out candles on a large meat pie instead of an ice-cream cake. He would not be a happy camper. And the cutting of the cake at a wedding is always a photo moment. The savoury dinner part, not so much.

The booming establishment of chocolate cafes such as the Lindt cafe and Max Brenner is testament to how much we love the sweet stuff above savoury, and there are even dedicated dessert restaurants.

And I defy you to find someone who isn’t at their happiest when eating ice-cream.

What do you prefer – savoury or sweet?


6 thoughts on “Debate: sweet vs savoury

  1. @Perfectly Random – I got to the end of your first paragraph and just kept saying ‘Cheese!’ out loud (people in my office are used to it). I was so close to commenting even before I got to the end of your piece.

    @Rational Optimist – I usually order cheese for dessert. Your argument never stood a chance!

    In conclusion: Cheese.

  2. It’s got to be savoury, every time. As much as I love sweet treats, sugary things inevitably just make me crave more sugar. Savoury, on the other hand, tends to be a lot more satisfying, even when it is completely moreish.

  3. Pingback: List love: the ultimate flight delay pack list « Laugh Lots, Travel Often

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