Sweet & Sour
it's those heart felt delicious moments, those juicy combinations
Sweet & sour, bitter & sweet. Let us consider this dynamic flavorsome duo. Two delectable tastes worthy in their own rights, but when combined, the eruption of the two apposing forces interchanging is a unique experience in and of its own. Like most dynamic duos - sugar & spice, wine & cheese, nuts & beer, Bert and Ernie, Thelma and Louise, the sun and moon, they compliment each others assets like two best friends should. Sweet and bitter enhancing one another and their qualities, whilst balancing the palate and making the eating experience delectable.
Taste is a singular component of flavour. Experiencing flavours is the coming-together of all human senses. The experience of taste actually demands several regions of the human brain. To keep it simple, the front, middle, and back. These individual regions occupy the functions which are responsible for sight, taste, and smell. Overall, these processes are responsible for what we see and smell externalizing as well as what we feel and experience internally.
The combination of Sweet and Sour has been blueprinted into our human manuscripts (well, for most of us anyways). Consider the deadly combo of bacon and maple syrup. I’ll openly admit that, before my days of being a vegan this was a go to staple Sunday morning treat in our household. Bacon and Syrup? - you ask. It may sound strange to some, but it’s actually an instinctual act of balancing and enhancing. Consider the natural sweetness of summer fruits. Berries are a classic, strawberries to be precise. Blueberries can at times come across as tart or slightly bitter on our pallet (in which case, we could help the blueberry out by teaming it with something acidic, like lemon juice and then a little sugar). Strawberries are a main character in summer salads. Teamed strategically with balsamic vinegar with the sourness, along with a hint of saltiness we get with feta cheese.
Sweet and Sour. Yin and Yang. Two opposites, non existent without the other. Let’s consider some dishes from our Eastern brothers and sisters. A classical cliche’ and all around favorite, sweet and sour pork, sweet and sour chicken, just sweet and sour sauce in general. It’s so highly sought after and a common selection, it a combination used to highlight any source of protein.
Sweet and sour moments can exist in our world as an experience - a moment in time. They too, just like the winning taste, bitter-sweet moments are the the most heart felt and rememberable. They are the ones we remember and the memories we share in stories. A bitter sweet moment is one which knocks on your chest from the inside - heavy. The one that brings a salty tear to your eye and a smile across your cheeks. It’s leaving home for the first time as you’re destined for adventures in an unknown city, it’s coming home to your mothers embrace after a year abroad, its crawling out of bed at 5am to drag yourself to bootcamp, its that feeling of discomfort caressed by sweet tenderness.
Sweet and sour is most commonly thought of as a flavors or a taste. However, these are also types of personalities. In which case, we can look at the types of relationships where one is clearly sweeter than their obviously more sour counterpart. It’s a little old lady and her grumpy old man. They are each others Yin and Yang. There’s truth in what they say, opposites attract. As opposites simply wouldn’t be (an opposite) without its soul mate. And just like two love birds growing old together, sweet and sour age well, and they stand the test of time.