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Posted at 2:34 PM ET, 02/ 9/2011

Does not dessert by any other name still taste as sweet?

By Ezra Klein


I liked this exchange between the New Yorker's Adam Gopnik and El Bulli's Ferran Adria on where dessert is going:

Were we, I asked, on the verge of entirely breaking down the line between sweet and savory?

He looked at me with delighted triumph. “It can’t be that an American is asking me that!” he said. “A hamburger with ketchup and Coca-Cola? That’s the most intense symbiosis of sweet and savory imaginable. It’s your cultural theme.”

Good point! If someone served me ice cream in the middle of a meal, I'd be rather surprised. But hand me a Coke, which is, if anything, sweeter, and I don't even blink.

Photo credit: Joshua Lott/Reuters.

By Ezra Klein  | February 9, 2011; 2:34 PM ET
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I'm not sure how savory the average American hamburger is. What's the sugar content of a Big Mac? Ditto most pizza and Italian sauces in the U.S. - much sweeter than their counterparts in Europe.

Posted by: Virginia7 | February 9, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be so surprised to be served ice cream in the middle of a meal--well, sorbet. It's often served as an 'entremet' and acts as a palate cleanser between courses. That is a centuries'-old tradition.

Posted by: JJenkins2 | February 9, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

There's a burger place somewhere that serves a hamburger that uses a Krispy Kreme donut as a bun.

Posted by: bdballard | February 9, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Shakes are made out of ice cream and are often included in American meals. So I wouldn't be too surprised by that ice cream served in the middle of a meal.

Posted by: Xactiphyn | February 9, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Hello? Bacon, pancakes, and syrup? That's a sweet-savoury combination that would be incomprehensible anywhere else. In fact, I'm disgusted by the very idea of it.

Posted by: albamus | February 10, 2011 7:00 AM | Report abuse

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