What does Bittersweet Mean?

The adjective bittersweet is used to describe the combination of sweet and sour. According to Digopaul, the bittersweet flavors, therefore, mix these two characteristics. For example: “I am going to order the chicken with sweet and sour sauce”, “Last night I had sweet and sour pork with carrot puree”, “I do not like sweet and sour dishes”.

It should be noted that something sour is perceived as acidic. In this way, when we eat a bittersweet food, we will notice a flavor with a certain sweetness, but at the same time with hints of acidity. In some countries, there is a long tradition of preparing sweet and sour recipes.

In Chinese gastronomy, to cite one case, the use of the so-called sweet and sour sauce is common. Actually, there are multiple recipes for making sweet and sour sauces, which can include oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar, soy sauce or honey, among other ingredients.

The sweet and sour pork is a preparation consisting of pork cut into cubes, fry them and serve them in a sauce made with soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and ketchup. The usual thing is to accompany the meat with onion, bell pepper (pepper) and pineapple.

Although traditional cuisine seems to be intended only for people who eat meat, eggs and milk, we must not forget that millions have chosen to avoid animal products. For them vegans, there is also a host of bittersweet dishes.

Such is the case of sweet and sour tofu, an easy recipe to prepare, ideal to combine with white rice or boiled vegetables. It is prepared with a thick cornstarch sauce, olive oil, garlic, ginger, chili, tomato paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar and water; Then it is combined with pieces of tofu previously dehydrated and cooked in the pan with a little olive oil until golden and crisp. When serving, it is recommended to decorate with toasted sesame seeds.

Arguably sweet and sour dishes are on that small list of products that serve to classify different types of diners according to their tastes. In general, the palates of the little ones are not prepared to enjoy this mixture of flavors, especially because of the food they normally receive from their elders: they teach us to separate the salty from the sweet.

For this reason, when we try a bittersweet recipe for the first time, the reaction may be rejection, although this does not necessarily indicate that we cannot adapt and begin to appreciate this plane of gastronomy. After a suitable transition stage, in which we open ourselves more and more to the combination of salt and sugar, it is likely that our palates will mature and begin to enjoy it.

The idea of bittersweet can also be used symbolically. When a situation causes a certain happiness but, simultaneously, it brings something that generates discomfort or annoyance, it can be described as bittersweet: “It was a bittersweet victory for the national team: it allowed him to close the tournament with a victory, but it was not enough to qualify for the next round ”, “ It will be a bittersweet birthday because my mother and sister will come, although my father will not be able to be present as he is traveling for work reasons ”.

In the same way, there are those who assure that life is full of bittersweet moments, since it is not possible to extend happiness indefinitely nor is it common for someone to suffer misfortunes constantly for days, months and years. On the contrary, our existence is an irregular fusion of very diverse events, covering those situations that make us as happy as those that deeply sadden us, and we must accept the rules.