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Volume 5 | Issue 07

October 11, 2019

Sweet + Savory


Is there a more addictive, craveable flavor combination than sweet and savory? Foods like pineapple pizza or chocolate-dipped pretzels have shown to activate additional sweetness receptors on the tongue, giving a true mouthwatering quality to sweet and savory pairings. Today’s operators are taking these classic combos to new heights, with innovative complexity that enhances flavor without being overpowering. Especially in fine dining, where chefs are taking a more experimental approach, unexpected dishes like burrata with strawberries, cherry tomatoes and fennel are surprising and delighting patrons. 

If your patrons aren’t ready to step that far outside their comfort zones, have no fear. Flavor research shows that ingredients like mango, brown sugar and maple are helping to lend a sweet touch to traditionally savory dishes, while wasabi, miso, rosemary, sea salt and bacon have emerged as major players on the conventionally sweet side (Food Navigator, 2019). From barbecue to ice cream, condiments to beverages, mild to spicy and everything in between—sweet + savory flavors give signature flair to a range of menu items and can serve to bridge the gap between dayparts.

Imagine plant-based entrée that marries sweet, savory, and spicy flavors in a unique Korean-Mexican fusion format...Watch our video!

From sweet to savory and everything in between, Custom Culinary® products deliver complementary flavors across the menu. Try these recipes for inspiration.


Bourbon Cherry Salmon Burger
Crisp vegetables, Custom Culinary® Gold Label Kentucky-Style Bourbon Sauce and sweet-tart cherry compote provide a unique contrast to the flavor of a griddled salmon burger.
View Recipe

Pan-Roasted Duck Breast with Honey Sauce
Orange, apricot and honey provide a sweet counterpart to Custom Culinary® Master’s Touch® Demi-Glace Sauce Concentrate-dressed duck breast.
View Recipe

Jalapeño Relish–infused Coleslaw
Put a unique flavor spin on slaw with Custom Culinary® Gold Label Jalapeño Relish and cilantro folded into mixed cabbage.
View Recipe

Southern-style Chicken and Waffles with Bacon-Onion Maple Syrup
A generous spoonful of maple syrup mixed with Custom Culinary® Gold Label Bacon Onion Marmalade adds a sweet touch to crispy fried chicken and waffles.
View Recipe

Sweet 'n' Spicy Korean Fried Chicken
Custom Culinary® Korean-Style Sweet Heat Sauce brings crave-worthy flavor to chicken wings, fried to a perfect golden crisp.
View Recipe


Bacon and Walnut Bread Pudding
This sweet-salty bread pudding is studded with crispy bacon bits, toasted walnuts and dried cherries, topped with Custom Culinary® Dark Chocolate Cabernet Sauce and garnished with a slice of dark chocolate-covered bacon.

Sweet Heat Korean Cheesesteak
Shaved beef is seared and tossed in Custom Culinary® Gochujang Hot Honey Sauce, served on a hoagie roll with kimchi, griddled onions and melty mozzarella cheese.

Peaches and Brie Waffle Sandwich
A crispy fried chicken thigh sandwiched between two grilled peach-studded waffles, topped with Custom Culinary® Peach and Pink Peppercorn Chutney and melted brie.

Curried Shrimp and Grits
For a sweet and savory entrée, top turmeric, garlic and scallion-seasoned grits with shrimp, bell peppers and onions stewed in Custom Culinary® Tamarind Coconut Curry Sauce. Garnish with Thai basil and pomegranate seeds.

Spicy Caramel Pot Stickers
Nuoc mau is a Vietnamese staple. Our version, Custom Culinary® Fish Sauce Caramel, is infused with Thai bird’s eye chilies and dresses up short rib dumplings, which are garnished with sliced green onion and toasted sesame seeds.


Whether used on their own or as mix-ins to create even more complex flavor profiles, Custom Culinary® products are ideal for sweet and savory menu development.


  • Dark Chocolate Cabernet Sauce
  • Gochujang Hot Honey Sauce
  • Peach and Pink Peppercorn Chutney
  • Tamarind Coconut Curry Sauce
  • Fish Sauce Caramel
*Products are customized; please contact your Custom Culinary® representative for more information.


For information about our NEW Custom Culinary® Authentic Korean Flavors, download our product brochure here


Download your free copy of our new white paper: 
“Sustainability in Foodservice: A Guiding Principal”


Chef Talk

Chef Mike Speranza takes a seasonal approach to the sweet and savory trend with an ode to pumpkin.

FlavorIQ® enables our customers' growth and success by approaching the creation of customized solutions with a bold mix of expertise, aspiration and curiosity. We develop unique products, menu concepts and "gold standard" flavor delivery systems, meeting the requirements of our customers today and anticipating their emerging needs, too. The opportunities we identify for operators and food manufacturers on a global scale are rooted in a deep understanding of the culinary arts, sensory science, consumer insights and food science. Our ultimate goal? Innovation without limits.



Andrew Bui, “The science behind why sweet and salty are the perfect taste combination,” Business Insider, December 1, 2017.
Elizabeth Crawford, “Consumers want internationally inspired flavors, but also nostalgic options, Kerry predicts,” Food Navigator, January 15, 2019.

Michelle Lam, “Bacon with chocolate? How savoury desserts are becoming the next big gourmet trend,” South China Morning Post, June 21, 2018.​