Which cuisines (besides Hungarian) have a tradition of serving savory desserts?

  • Which cuisines (besides Hungarian) have a tradition of serving savory desserts? klypos

    About 20 years ago my wife and I were poor, and we went on a very cheap coach trip to Hungary for a holiday. The hotel meals always finished with a rather uninteresting savoury dessert.

    I researched the matter and found that there is a tradition of savoury desserts in Hungary, a lot of which are much more interesting than the ones which we got in the hotel. But when I look outside of Hungary, all I see are "cheese / pate and crackers" style dishes to follow the main dish, and not much else.

    So what I am seeking is other nations with a tradition of savoury desserts - savoury dishes used to end a meal. which are nothing to do with crackers or Hungary.

    All offers considered ...

  • I wouldn't think of it as a dessert, just another course in a multi-course meal. You tend to wind up to the main courses, and then wind down again. Finishing a meal in a climatic way does not seem to work with the idea of relaxing and conversing over good food

    The wind down is in portion size, extremities of flavour and/or spice. but not necessarily in visuals, aroma, or production complexity

    Pate and cheeses fit in well with this, and hence their popularity

    Some other items are:

    • Bilini? - a large crepe, parcelled with fresh sweet(ish) pickles and a little small game compote (or sour cheeses) - Jewish Russian
    • Spekkoek (Bacon Cake) is not made from bacon, and while sweet, often has savoury spice flavours - Dutch
    • Bacon and chocolate fingers - nice strips of bacon, grilled crisp, and drizzled with 75%+ cocoa chocolate - Recent American/English based on Mexican smoked meats and mole
    • Fruit salad - with balsamic vinegar and/or chilli dressing - Indonesia, Asia
    • Yam cake - cake made with yams, bacon, shrimp, onions, and chilli - China
    • Pengat Pisang - banana, sweet potato, coconut, and spices - Malaysian, Asian
    • Yorkshire pudding - effectively deep fried bread or batter - English (pre-dinner in Yorkshire though)

  • In the big French meals, the sweet dessert is sometimes followed by the cheese course which is naturally savoury.

    Also, in China, in big meals, a clear simple soup is served at the end of a meal. This is, I am told, to clear the pallette. My experience is Yunnan and Szechuan, and it may not be the same in all of China.

  • I recently heard on a NOVA show about the ancient Roman fish sauce called "garum", made from fermented (or rotting!) fish, along with other ingredients. It was very popular served over many dishes, including desserts, as it enhanced flavor similarly to MSG, only probably better for you. Here is a link to a pear dessert recipe using Garum.


    I do love just a little coarse saltiness on things like caramels, or ginger cookies. Our family has a recipe for just such a cookie using cardamon salt - wonderful! ( I am also a great fan of Marmite - could probably find a way to use a smudge of it on an intensely dark chocolate brownie.

  • English cuisine has this tradition. In old-fashioned settings like Oxbridge colleges, a meal might consist of soup, then fish course, then meat course, then sweet, then a small savoury, then fruit and cheese and wine, then chocolates and coffee. The savoury is meant to be small and strongly flavoured, to re-stimulate your appetite in case you've become full by that stage of the meal.

    Typical ingredients for savouries: mustard sauce, bacon, anchovies, scrambled eggs, capers, pickled walnuts, oysters. For example, scramble eggs, put on a rectangle of toast, garnish with a cross of anchovies and dot with four capers. Or wrap a pickled walnut in thinly sliced bacon, fry briefly, place on a small round of toast spread with mustard.

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