Salted caramel - savory? sweet?


Senior Member
USA English
A flavor (flavour) of ice cream, etc., that has gained substantial popularity in this side of the Pond is "salted caramel," i.e. sweet, but tangy caramel with salt.

Would this be "sweet" or savory (savoury)? ... or an aberration? (don't knock it if you haven't tried it:))

As always, I'll savor (savour) your responses.:)
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    A most dangerous aberration.

    By default, if forced to choose, I would call it "sweet." You might be able to maintain that salted caramel is not savory, but you can't claim that it's not sweet.

    Putting a little sugar in my marinara sauce to counter the acidity, however, does not keep the sauce from being savory. So the line does get a bit blurry. What would you call the pear & blue cheese ice cream at Salta & Straw?

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think BrE speakers would only call it sweet. "Savoury" in ordinary BrE is only ever used to mean "not sweet", which this isn't, however "savoury" it might be according to the dictionary definition:
    1. attractive to the sense of taste or smell

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Sweet, for sure. A hint of salt in a pile of sugar is still sweet not savoury.

    I’d have to taste the blue cheese icecream!


    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Definitely sweet! At least the chocolates are -- I've never had salted caramel ice cream.

    I wonder if the pear & [generic] blue cheese ice cream is as good as the pear and Gorgonzola pizza I had a couple weeks ago....

    Correction: The frozen pizza I had recently was pear and Roquefort. There's a restaurant across the river, though, that does do a pear and Gorgonzola pizza.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    This topc is somewhat contentious - if only because it's hard to describe taste in words :eek:
    One "definition" is simply to divide foods/ into sweet and savo(u)ry but salty, bitter or sour would be distinguished by others as neither sweet nor savo(u)ry - so some would include a salty substance in the savo(u)ry category (possibly as in the OP).
    There used to be (when I was growing up) four "tastes" - salt, sweet, sour and bitter. It has become apparent that there are actualy five distinct "receptors" - the fifth being known as umami (also called savo(u)ry). That wiki has
    People taste umami through taste receptors that typically respond to glutamate, which is widely present in meat broths and fermented products and commonly added to some foods in the form of monosodium glutamate (MSG).[5] Since umami has its own receptors rather than arising out of a combination of the traditionally recognized taste receptors, scientists now consider umami to be a distinct taste.[2][6]

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    In fact, brown sugar, in my experience, won't make good caramel. Incidentally, we pronounce caramel as three syllables. I hear 'carmel' in US cooking shows: 'carmelised'.
    < Previous | Next >