Sweet vs Savory: The Great Culinary Debate

Just as there will always be a left side and a right side, there will always be those who prefer sweet treats to savory, and vice versa. In the spirit of the presidential debates, we try to break down the best of both worlds with these six foods. Unlike the political debates, it’s possible there may be more than one winner. Read on to find out…



Rice is one of the most adaptable dishes in this debate. On the savory side, it can be wrapped up in sushi, mixed into a macro bowl or stirred into a big pot of chicken soup. It’s a great addition to spicy curry or served on the side with beans. However, the sweet side of things also has a lot of promise. For breakfast, it can be topped with berries and honey as a replacement for oatmeal. Arroz con leche is a sweet Mexican rice pudding where milk, sugar and cinnamon are stirred in and served as a dessert. Another variation of rice pudding is Kheer, which is a traditional Indian dish. It is blended with coconut milk, sugar, cardamon, and a combination of nuts and raisins. Try one or both of these before you designate your rice to one course.


This round starts off fairly tied, primarily because of the two main points of each argument: Nutella and cheese. It can be argued that anything paired with either of these foods is acting as a vehicle; pretzels, crackers—you name it, they chauffeur the notes of something like salty gouda and hazelnut chocolate. This said, which version takes it to the finish line for you? Is it a warm crêpe filled with Nutella and strawberries, and sprinkled with powdered sugar? Or perhaps a thyme-seasoned crêpe stuffed with goat cheese, wilted spinach and sautéed mushrooms? We’ll take one of each.


Between popcorn drizzled with butter at the movies and sweet kettle corn at the county fair, this makes for another close call. You might want to try using curry powder and sea salt on your popcorn before you cast your vote, but then you’ll also have to try this milk chocolate s’mores version as well. But, have you ever tried upgrading your butter game by using truffle oil? And, what about that tin of chocolate covered caramel corn that somehow manages to make its way into the house around winter holidays? If you’re see-sawing here, we understand.


Oatmeal has gotten a bland rep over the years, but the trend of overnight oats has really brought it appropriately back into the limelight, and into the running. Overnight oats are almost always made sweet; a half cup of oats, a cup of milk, a little sugar or honey, and the toppings of your choice are mixed in a jar and refrigerated overnight for a quick breakfast the next day. One can get very creative with this concept, creating versions such as peanut butter and jelly, strawberry cheesecake, and banana chocolate chip. At the same time, recipes for savory and warm oatmeal bowls have also been trending. This idea may take some getting used to at first, but when you add an egg, cheddar cheese and scallions to your morning oats, you might swing towards the other side.


Poachedfried, scrambled—the egg, a single food with so much versatility. This issue leaves one to believe that it’s a unanimous decision, but the sweet sides of things can be found in cake form. Touché!


Convincing anyone that dessert pizza is better than the original thing is a very hard sell. However, both have their merits. Savory pizza clearly has more, but that doesn’t mean that there’s more room to explore the world of sweet. Presently, it’s very unlikely that a late night craving will ascend amidst dreams of a dessert pizza, unless said pie is covered in white chocolate and ricotta. But, has a deep dish dessert pizza happened yet? What about a chocolate stuffed crust pie? This side has so much potential, and just needs a little time to figure out who it really is. The possibilities are endless, because pizza is a great work of art.


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