Sweet tooth

I have just been out for a very good lunch. During the course of the meal, for reasons I won’t bore you with and in a context which is too complicated to explain here, I made the statement that I don’t know any men who would willingly choose pudding over a savoury course. I was mocked mercilessly. Apparently, men like this are in abundance, and it is only in my narrow, joyless, blinkered parody of an existence that men don’t choose pudding over all other sustenance. Apparently, real men (the sort who like a good laugh and a beer) regularly forgo starters because they are saving themselves for pudding, and would happily choose to eat nothing but pudding at a meal.

I find this hard to believe, and impossible to corroborate amongst the men of my acquaintance (all of whom like sweet things in their proper place, but not in preference to savoury as the sole component of a main meal – note that we are talking about regular meals here, not afternoon tea or late breakfast or a snack).

So, straw poll time.

You are a man. It is lunch time, or dinner time. You can have anything you like for your meal, but you can have only one course. Do you choose a savoury dish, or a sweet one?

I’m with you all the way, Siren … savoury every time. Mind you, I gave up sugar in tea, coffee et al when I was about 13 — I had given up milk in all liquid forms and semi-liquid with the exception of butter at the age of 4; it took me to around 50 before I abandoned butter except in certain cooking, where it is irreplaceable. And as a benighted boy at boarding school, when others spent their pocket money on sweets and toys, I spent mine on hunks of cheese down at the local grocer’s shop. In fact, if I could find a suitable location and family permitted, I would happily go on a diet of good bread, good cheese, good olives, and tomatoes washed down with the essential, good red wine. But does fruit, often being sweet, count as pudding? My favourite fruit is the pomelo, like a large grapefruit but infinitely more subtle and flavoursome … pomelo : grapefruit = Keene’s cheddar : Kraft cheese slices.

As far as I’m concerned, you can keep your puddings …


No contest.


(or locally, savory)


Nope, sweet.

Which is quite the opposite of when I was much younger. I can remember at about the age of eight discovering with anticipatory pleasure that very smart multi-course meals for grown-ups could actually include a course called “A savoury” - somewhere between dessert, petit-fours and coffee. (Even better still, this course could be mushrooms on toast, which happened to be a favourite of mine at the time - you can tell this was a little while ago.)

Sadly I never ever attended such a meal. But now give me a pavlova, Eton mess, sticky-toffee pudding, sherry trifle, tiramisu, chocolate mousse with brandy, apple snow or - potentially the finest of all, the empress of puds, Britain’s greatest contribution to global cuisine - bread-and-butter pudding (made correctly to a light recipe, naturally).


The mere thought makes me hungry.


Savoury. Crisps over chocolate, cheesy potato over ice cream any day.

Sweet for me. But never “pudding”. I am not even sure I know what pudding is. Must be an English or American thing.

3-2 so far (savoury to sweet). Hmmm. That’s not very conclusive, and I was so sure I was right! :slight_smile:

Matt – “Pudding” is a generic British term for the sweet course, dessert, afters etc. There are puddings which actually are puddings (like Christmas pudding or jam roly poly, and similar stodgy Olde Englishe stuff), but it doesn’t have to be an actual pudding to be a pudding. And there are actual puddings (such as haggis) which you would never eat as a pudding course. Just to confuse things further, I think Americans have something called pudding that is close to what I would call a blancmange.

I have just looked the word up in the OED Online, where it has more meanings than I would ever have thought possible. The one I was thinking of is described as “Chiefly Brit. Any sweet dish served as a dessert. Also: the sweet course following the main course (or sometimes the cheese course) of a meal; dessert”. Which is interesting, because I thought that dessert was technically meant to be a fruit course.

Isn’t language a funny thing?

For me it depends whats on offer.
Iles Flottante in France will win over deep fried Mars bar in Scotland
A cheeseboard in Spain will win over a cheeseboard in Esher.

It also depends what you are doing,
As a card carrying (photo-id) roue it is essential to ensure that the young lady has enough chocolate and alcohol to ensure a stirring (of what I do not know). Logically therefore I order three desserts for two people, one of chocolate, one of alcohol and one of something special.

When we share and she complains of being too full I rub her stomach. She may experience projectile vomiting but I have already paid on a cloned card.

Life is good if you can run fast.

“pudding” is all one needs. No need to waste time with nutrition.

I polled my partner on this one and he flat out dismissed the idea of choosing only one. He’s going to have a spicy curry with rice, and then he’s going to have some ice cream, and mercy to anyone who tries to enforce unwelcome rules about a one-course limit.

I am a woman and I would choose savoury, assuming both the savoury and sweet options were equally well-prepared and within the realm of things I like. Most people in my acquaintance, of any sex, would probably go the same way. Sweet things just don’t satisfy hunger the way savoury foods do.

I think these lines from Macbeth, doth round up this thread most succinctly:

“Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.
Yellow matter custard
Green snot pie
All mixed together
with a dead dogs eye
Stir it all up, nice n thick
Drink it down
With a cup of cold sick!”

Take care

Savoury here.

Mr. C says that he’d choose savory for a meal… unless he had been deprived of sweets for a week. Then, he’d go straight for the sugar!

Snacks are a different story. When there are homemade cookies in the house, he turns into the Cookie Monster, stealthily gobbling them up at every opportunity. That’s how a whole batch of “snowballs” vanished within three days this past Christmas! More than two dozen spheres of butter, pecans, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar! :open_mouth: Poof! Gone. I knew where they went; the circumstantial evidence of little white blotches of confectioner’s sugar on his shirt and the happy little grin on his face told me everything I needed to know.

I understand completely. The most prevalent ethnicity in my “melting pot” mutt background is Austrian, and apparently, we simply must follow every meal with something sweet!

So, pass the cookies… :mrgreen:

“How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” - Famous Quote

As to your question. Depends on the Beer they serve. :slight_smile:

youtube.com/watch?v=IGvkebKl … re=related :open_mouth:

Definitely savoury. So much so that recently, when taken to an Italian restaurant, I, to the great amusement of my fellow diners and staff, chose a savoury starter for my dessert. :laughing:

Sweet. I rememer being in a italian restaurant some years ago and, while the rest of us ordered the things you can get in this kind of place - pasta and so on - I chose to order three different desserts, one as a starter, one as main course and the remaining one to finish my meal…