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U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

Sugar and Spice Together are Nice

By Jill HaapanJill Haapaniemiiemi

It’s no secret that the savory-sweet combo is trending, and for that I have nothing but the utmost thanks. The simple delight of a chocolate covered pretzel has been embraced by the home cook and morphed by chefs into decadent salted caramel ice creams, pickled fruits, and peppery dark chocolates. Whether it’s a dramatic move or a simple twist, we’re seeing this concept applied all over and in various ways. Elements of this practice have a longstanding tradition in many cultures, but the innovation, execution, and – most importantly –enhanced taste that I’ve encountered lately have been pleasantly surprising and exceptionally delicious. Another bonus? If you’re as indecisive as I am when it comes to menu choices, a singular dish that encompasses contrasting yet complementary flavors makes things much easier! Here are a few fabulous dishes I’ve had recently that deserve a shout out:


Heirloom Tomatoes at Pubbelly (Miami, FL)

Chefs Jose Mendin and Sergio Navarro

The chefs at Pubbelly are no strangers to unique flavor combos and cuisine fusion. This dish, made with soft tofu, amazu ponzu, blueberries, and sesame oil, is no exception. Not only does your palate undergo an array of flavors, but your eyes are treated to a colorful and intriguing dish as well.





Breakfast Pancakes at Chez Sardine (New York, NY)

Chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly

pancakesThe Fish Tartare, Salmon Roe & Yogurt on this menu brings you not just a variety of flavors, but a complex mix of textures. Playing on the idea of breakfast-for-dinner, these fluffy and elegant mini-pancakes are the perfect match to crispy, chewy, and salty ingredients.







Michelada at Caracas (Brooklyn, NY)michelada

If you like spice and you like beer, you’ve surely been known to order a Michelada. The version done at this Venezuelan restaurant in Brooklyn is unlike any I’ve had before, with hints of warming brown sugar underlying the fiery kick of hot sauce. A cool beverage with these flavors and a heavily salted rim makes each sip a blissful experience.




As an Assistant Account Executive, Jill provides strategic marketing and public relations services for clients in CRT/tanaka’s Food, Beverage, and Nutrition practice. Her strong interest in food and nutrition has led to her work with clients including the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission, Valor Chocolates, and Legends from Europe.

Posted in: Blog, Dynamo Digest