Rumble box: Sweet vs savoury

Rumble box: Sweet vs savoury

Each week, members of Team YP will debate life's important issues in casual dialogues. This week...


When I have the blues or get a dizzy spell, you can't just give me a cup of warm water and hope I'll feel better, Karly. It wouldn't work. And don't think a lump of cheese would work any magic. It would make matters 10 times worse. What could save the day is a piece of chocolate or a glass of orange juice.

Sweetness is synonymous with happiness. A good three-course meal always ends with dessert. Even before you dig in, the sight of a chocolate fondue, rainbow-coloured macarons, and profiteroles filled with loads of whipped cream can light a smile on your face.

Many say sugar is a tempting but hazardous ingredient and only indulged in by the undisciplined, but science proves you wrong. Sugar can instantly uplift us because this refined molecule temporarily boosts blood sugar and actively alters brain chemistry. But the most important thing is sugar becomes glucose, the fuel our body needs to survive and the friend our skin needs to fight ageing.

Mary Poppins also sang its praises in the 1964 film, and experts insisted she was right - a spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down. Scientists say if they give babies a few drops of a sweet solution before they receive jabs, they will feel less pain and cry less.

But of course, too much of anything, including sugar, will do you no good. You need self-control and a balanced diet.

Don't give me that cheesy look! You can't win this argument, Karly. Let me savour the sweetness of my victory (see what I did there?) with a giant scoop of green tea ice cream. Mmmm. Sweet.

Joyee Chan


There's so much range with savoury, from the comfort of mashed potato, and the, well, garlickyness of garlic (which surely improves every food, except poor old dessert) to the freshness of a tomato, and the life-affirming buzz of umami, whether it's in that browned bit of roast chicken skin, soy-sauce-drenched har gow, or parmesan shaved on risotto.

Speaking of cheese, it's one of the ultimate food experiences: salty, rich, tangy, complex, creamy. Melted cheese has got to be one of Man's finest discoveries, the way it oozes and soothes. Sweet-lovers have tried to echo this, but melted chocolate just isn't quite as perfect.

You know when you've had too much sugar. That insane burst of energy, like little kids get when they have one Smartie too many, followed by a sugar coma so intense you wish you lived in Europe so you could take a siesta, rather than struggle to stay awake through double biology. And, argh, you've still got geography and your piano lesson before you can go home and nap. Better have another biscuit at break time for energy ... and start the torture all over again.

There are no such issues with savouries (unless you stuff yourself silly; and then it's the carbohydrates, i.e. SUGARS, that cause the need to nap). Savoury satisfies - and leaves you free to get on with your day.

Joyee, you're the embodiment of sweetness and light, and that's wonderful in a human. But if sweet and savoury are opposites, you could also describe "sweet" as "unsavoury" - and nobody wants that!

Karly Cox

We hope you enjoyed the rumble. If you have an idea for a fun topic, e-mail us at with "Rumble Box" in the subject line and we could be wrangling your topic idea next week


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