Sweet and Sour

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

(or acid), aigre-doux in French and agrodolce in Italian, a juxtaposition or blending of tastes which has been a feature of many cuisines. Sweetness and sourness are two of what are usually counted as the four primary tastes sensed through the mouth (see taste), and therefore operate at a basic level in helping to determine the flavour of foods. (Of the two other primary tastes: one, saltiness, is used in some cultures in preference to sweetness; the other, bitterness, although sometimes appreciated, is generally disliked and serves as a warning of inedibility.)