It's the ultimate question: do you prefer sweet or salty foods? The truth is that it's not possible to be an equal opportunity foodie. You've either got a crazy sweet tooth and crave all of the sugar, all of the time, and look for ways to sneak it into your daily life (candy is a totally acceptable lunch food, okay?)... or you're all about the salt and nothing but the salt.
If you want to figure out whether you naturally lean toward sweet or savory, it's a good idea to think about what your comfort food of choice is. What makes you feel better after a bad day or a breakup? What food do you celebrate with? What do you fall asleep dreaming of? (Come on, you're a foodie, so of course you dream about food.) That should point you in the right direction. Personally, I'm all about the salt. Give me potato chips, tortilla chips, and fries all day long... and even then, that won't be enough for me.
This is the ultimate foodie showdown between salty and sweet foods. Would you rather eat a salty snack or a sugary treat? There is only one right answer and only one winner. Read on to find out which flavor rings supreme.
25 Caramel Corn Vs. Buttered Popcorn
Is this even a contest?! Caramel corn is honestly way too sweet... and not in a good way. If you eat enough of it, you start feeling like it's sickly sweet, and that's never a good flavor. Buttered popcorn is absolutely the winner here for so many reasons.
First of all, buttered popcorn is a classic. It's the best movie snack (it's really the only one that people can agree on) and simple to make at home. Second of all, I think that butter is always a good idea, and there can never be enough. Buttered popcorn can't be beat. It's salty and rich and delicious. Anytime I've eaten a lot of caramel corn, I've gotten a serious toothache. That's just uncool.
24 Potato Chips Vs. Sour Candy
Potato chips are the obvious winner here. Have we ever said to ourselves, "I feel like digging into a big bag of sour candy?" No, we have not. Why? Because that would hurt our teeth. Have you ever eaten so many sour candy that your tongue felt super fuzzy and you could barely feel your teeth and you wondered why that seemed like such a good idea? I definitely have... and I promised myself I would never repeat that experience.
The same feeling just doesn't occur with potato chips. In my humble and salt-loving opinion, potato chips are truly the best snack ever. Choose plain, salt and vinegar, barbecue, ketchup, or any flavor. We will love potato chips forever and always. You can't eat just one... and we would never dream of that. The entire bag is always the correct serving size.
23 Bacon Cheeseburger Vs. Ice Cream Sundae
A bacon cheeseburger is something that many of us could eat on a daily basis. Can we say the same thing about an ice cream sundae? Probably not.
The truth about the ice cream sundae is it's too sweet and too much. There are so many components, from the ice cream itself to the chocolate or caramel sauce, plus nuts and whipped cream and any other toppings. It's good in theory and can make you feel pretty sick in reality. A bacon cheeseburger will never do that to you. It's just hearty and satisfying. Bring it on.
22 Mashed Potatoes Vs. Pumpkin Pie
While mashed potatoes are lovely and people love their carbs, I have to give pumpkin pie this round. Pumpkin pie is one of the most amazing desserts that there is.
Yes, we may be going pretty nuts for pumpkin. Forget how you feel about putting this ingredient in a latte (with way too much sugar, but that's another conversation) and remember the delight that is pumpkin pie. This is a classic dessert that families have been making for years and years and it deserves all the love that it gets. It's sweet, it's earthy, it tastes like fall, and it's what makes Thanksgiving feel complete.
21 Pizza Vs. Birthday Cake
Okay, okay, I know that pizza is a beautiful thing and I'm not trying to suggest that people should stop eating it (like that would ever happen). Sometimes a pepperoni and cheese pie is what you need. And yet, when going up against birthday cake, how can pizza really win?
As far as I see it, birthday cake is a special thing. You don't eat it every day. You don't even eat it every month. When you get to enjoy it, you really appreciate every part of it, from the frosting to the moist crumb to the pretty decor. Birthday cake wins this round because it's a perfectly sweet and satisfying dessert that feels like a celebration (since, you know, it is).
20 Poutine Vs. Popsicles
It's almost crazy that kids like popsicles so much. Just try eating a popsicle that you enjoyed as a kid as an adult. Seriously, just try it. You'll most likely get a toothache (and/or brain freeze), declare it way too sugary, and then get it all over your hands (okay, so maybe that last part hasn't changed).
Popsicles are popular for children but that's where their goodness ends. Poutine is way better and it's a salty, savory, cheesy snack (or meal) that, when done right, is totally awesome. It's also a big deal for many living in Canada. It wins this round for sure.
19 Fried Chicken Vs. Cheesecake
Yes, fried chicken is good. Many deep-fried foods are good. But is it special? Maybe... maybe not.
Cheesecake is the winner here, though, because many people feel a deep love for cheesecake and it's something that they hold very close to their hearts. Cheesecake can be classic, with that graham cracker crust and some strawberries, or it can be a wacky flavor like peanut butter chocolate or Oreo. Either way, it's good, it's creamy, it's a great dessert, and it beats fried chicken any day.
18 Fries Vs. Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oh, fries. I would totally marry fries if I could (sorry to my fiancé). When I tried on my wedding dress the other day, I breathed a sigh of relief that it still fit because that meant I didn't have to give up my beloved salty, crispy, crunchy fries for nine months until the wedding - true story.
I can't be the only fry lover around. After all, they're a classic side dish to burgers, sandwiches, and more. They're a great bar snack. They're just always the most delicious thing ever. When pitted against chocolate chip cookies, the cookies (while sweet and nostalgic) don't stand a chance. Okay, now let's go get some fries (heavy on the ketchup, please).
17 Corn Muffins Vs. Cupcakes
Okay, so cupcakes are pretty trendy... or maybe they were trendy a few years ago and aren't so big anymore. Either way, I get that maybe they're a bit overplayed, but I still declare a good cupcake the winner of this round of salty vs. sweet.
I have some fond memories of eating corn muffins on vacation in Sanibel Island, Florida with my grandparents as a kid... but honestly, corn muffins are often very dry. As in super, super dry. I'll take cupcakes any day, especially a vanilla flavored one with pink frosting (I'm always all about the frosting). Also, you wouldn't bring a box of corn muffins to a party. No way.
16 Tortilla Chips Vs. Churros
Sure, churros are pretty good, but as far as desserts go, they're just not up there with the best. These deep-fried baked goods made of dough are like a donut. Therefore, they can be soggy and mushy if not done right, and unless we eat them in an authentic restaurant, we might not have ever had a really good one.
Tortilla chips are so much more delicious. They always sound good. We are always in the mood for tortilla chips. Why are they so magical? They're crunchy and satisfying... and I might love avocados even more than salt, so I'm going to say that tortilla chips win because they're often served with guacamole. When something is a vehicle for guac, I'm in, and I know people agree.
15 Cheese Crackers Vs. Brownies
A brownie is a special baked good. It's a perfect square of chocolate decadence and since it often comes topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and maybe some chocolate sauce, it can be the base of an epic dessert that we want to be eating at all times.
Brownies obviously win this round because they are definitely better than cheese crackers. Sure, cheese crackers are crunchy and have a salty and cheesy flavor, but so what? Once you grow up and stop being a kid, you realize that they're not really that good. You'd rather eat some fancy cheese and regular crackers.
14 Cheese Plate Vs. Ice Cream
Even I, a total salty food lover who is allergic to dairy and therefore can't indulge in the beauty that is ice cream, declare the cold sugary treat the winner in this round. Sure, a cheese plate is fun. It's got different types of cheese from cheddar to brie to fancier versions (I can eat goat cheese so please don't feel too sorry for me) and crackers and olives.
And yet... ice cream is where it's at. A cheese plate just can't hold a candle to it. Ice cream always sounds good (and cures breakups... can a cheese plate promise that?!) It's perfect in the summer when it's too hot out, and there are so many fun flavors to choose from. I still dream about the mint chocolate chip I used to enjoy regularly...
13 Nachos Vs. Honey Garlic Chicken Wings
In my former junk food and non-food allergy-having life, I was a nacho connoisseur. I lived for the crunchy tortilla chips, stretchy cheese, salsa, and toppings like black olives, lettuce, and tomato. When jalapenos were involved, it was even better. I once ordered nachos twice in one evening at two different restaurants because the first order was so bad and unsatisfying.
Nachos are the clear winner here and are so much better than honey garlic chicken wings. You don't crave honey garlic wings the way that you do nachos. Plus, that's not even the good flavor of wings.
12 Baked Brie Vs. Sugar Cookies
I get that people love cheese... and yet wouldn't we say that we love sugar cookies that much more?
Cheese isn't that special. You can find it anytime. You can only really get sugar cookies around the holidays, or at least the best ones. They are a special thing and a big part of the season. They are crunchy, sweet in just the right way, and also fun to decorate. When a baked good can be both delicious and also an art project, I call that a win. Cheese definitely can't promise the same. Plus, some cheese, like string cheese or any processed kind, is just plain bad.
11 Buffalo Wings Vs. Bacon-Wrapped Dates
Bacon-wrapped dates are definitely delicious, and yet they don't hold a candle (or a toothpick) to buffalo wings.
Buffalo wings are a gift in the form of a bar snack. They are crispy, they are hot, they are hearty, and they pair perfectly with blue cheese dip. While bacon-wrapped dates are always welcome at a party, that's really the only time that you can get them. Yeah, you can make them, but you're not really going to. They're a pretty random thing. When you just need some junk food, you can head to any bar or pub and get some fairly decent buffalo wings.
10 Fried Pickles Vs. Cotton Candy
Cotton candy is the type of sweet that you only like as a kid. You know, when you have a massively high tolerance for candy and dessert. You eat cotton candy and you think, "cool. It's pink and sweet and melts in my mouth. I want more."
Then you grow up. Have you ever eaten cotton candy as an adult?! Oh man is it ever a weird experience. I have lived to tell the tale and can say that you can't even believe the sugar overload that you feel. It's way too sweet. It's just gross. Fried pickles, on the other hand, are really fun to eat, and they're salty fried perfection.
9 Chicken Fingers Vs. Funnel Cakes
Chicken fingers, fries, and a heaping spoonful of ketchup (or plum sauce, but that was for sophisticated palates only). This is a kid's dream meal and one that many children frequently order when dining out.
Chicken fingers win this round for so many reasons. First of all, a funnel cake isn't that good. It's essentially fried dough and I feel kind of nauseous even just thinking about it. It's too much. No thank you. If you want dough, make a pie. Chicken fingers, on the other hand, are dreamy. They are crispy, crunchy, salty, and can we eat some right now?!
8 Biscuits Vs. A Fruit Danish
Oh, do I miss Danish. I've been blessed with a gluten allergy and this is honestly one thing that I wish I could still eat. My dad and I used to enjoy tons of them when I was a kid, particularly lemon, cherry, and blueberry.
No disrespect to the biscuit because I get that it's a beloved carb. Fruit danishes are just better. That's really all that there is to it. Fruit danishes are perfectly sweet and I especially love the fruit center and the nice glaze drizzled over the pastry. They're the winner for sure.
7 Onion Rings Vs. Sticky Toffee Pudding
Sticky toffee pudding is a classic dessert served at many pubs. Personally, I don't get it. It seems like too much to take with its sticky texture and its sweetness, and I would rather eat any other dessert. It's a sponge cake with dates, and that just doesn't sound appealing.
Onion rings would win any round in the salty vs. sweet game, though, because onion rings are perfection. You have the crispy deep-fried batter and the sweet onion, and those flavors are great on their own but when paired together, oh man is it good.
6 Regular Crackers Vs. A Chocolate Bar
There is literally no contest here. Regular crackers that basically taste like sawdust and need a piece of cheese or a smear of peanut butter to taste good going up against a delicious chocolate bar? Of course the chocolate bar is the winner.
And this is coming from someone who isn't even that big on chocolate (sorry). There is just no way that crackers can be anywhere as good as a chocolate bar. Think about it: would you indulge a serious craving with some crackers? No way. Especially not if they're the whole wheat or whole grain kind (shudder). Chocolate always hits the spot.
5 Everything Bagel Vs. Cinnamon Donut
I would say that the everything bagel is all about the toppings, like cream cheese and smoked salmon and maybe some tomato and red onion, but that would be insulting this glorious carb. While the toppings are amazing, this type of bagel is so wonderful it deserves tons of credit for being so delicious.
When up against a cinnamon donut, it's really no contest at all. A cinnamon donut can be good... but it can also be super stale. And a stale donut is gross and enough to put you off donuts forever. Not every donut is a star among desserts. Every everything bagel, however, is always good.
4 Popcorn Shrimp Vs. Rice Pudding
Rice pudding is a beloved dessert that many families make. But that's really all that it has going for it. Flavor-wise, it's just not that exciting. There's some vanilla and maybe orange and that's about it. Rice pudding can also be gummy and, well, tastes like rice, and we might not think that a starch has any place in dessert.
Popcorn shrimp wins this round because it's delightful. It's crunchy and crispy and craveable. You really can't go wrong with ordering fried anything at a pub or restaurant, and fried shrimp is especially lovely on vacation. I've enjoyed it (with a side of potato chips) on vacation and loved it.
3 Corn Nuts Vs. Smarties
Corn nuts shouldn't even be a thing. They're a corn... that is shaped like a nut... or is that even what's going on here?!
According to Chowhound, "you only need to look at them to know that they are, in fact, corn, and not nuts." Okay. So we get that they're actually corn. I don't understand why anyone would eat corn nuts because if you want corn, then eat, you know, corn on the cob. Or popcorn. Smarties, on the other hand, are so good. They are fun and colorful and also super chocolatey. They win because, number one, corn nuts are weird, and number two, smarties are just plain delicious.
2 Hickory Sticks Vs. Butter Tarts
Hickory sticks are another food that are better when you're a kid. I remember enjoying quite a few bags during my childhood, but if you eat them when you're older, you realize that they have a certain smoky flavor, sure, but they also make you feel kind of gross after a while. This is a common problem with really salty snacks, and it's something that makes you feel pretty grown-up once you realize it.
Butter tarts are a classic and beloved treat in Canada, and they definitely win this salty vs. sweet round. It's like eating pure sugar with a flaky pie crust around it, and no one would ever complain about butter, either. Butter is the best.
1 Pretzels Vs. Chocolate-Covered Almonds
Chocolate-covered almonds are definitely better than pretzels... and this is coming from someone who used to eat a lot of pretzels.
The thing with pretzels is that, like potato chips, you feel like you are powerless in the face of these (empty) carbs. You don't mind with chips because they're so good. But pretzels? They're just not worth all the empty calories, and you are basically eating something that starts to remind you of sawdust after you've been eating them for a while. Once the salt is gone, pretzels are pretty bad. Chocolate-covered almonds, on the other hand, are a fun treat and very satisfying.