Sweet and sour is one of my favorite flavor combinations. The Italians have an all-purpose sweet and sour sauce known as agrodulce. It’s used to add punch to everything from braised sweet onions to rabbit. The French serve up this combination of yin and yang in classic dishes such as duck à l’orange. I’m sure you recall the sweet and sour pork made famous by Chinese restaurants all across the North American continent too. The unifying sour element in all of these preparations keeps them solidly in the savory category. But what about a sweet and sour dessert? That sounds like something I could get excited about. Better yet, how about sweet and sour candy? I’m not talking about sweet and sour gummy worms either. I’m thinking about something more sophisticated. Something like Honey and Vinegar Pine Nut Brittle with Rosemary.
Maybe my interest in sweet and sour sweets comes from my introduction to the sweet and salty treats that have become all the rage lately. As with sweet and salty, sweet and sour defies dessert expectations. There’s something exciting about the strong bite of acid poised against something as delicately sweet as honey and pine nut brittle.
Honey and Vinegar Pine Nut Brittle with Rosemary
I love the sophisticated sweet and savory qualities of this grown up confection. But it’s the texture that really separates this candy from the jaw breaking sugar and corn syrup peanut brittle from your childhood. This rosemary-pine nut with honey and vinegar version certainly cracks and breaks as its name implies. However, once you put a piece in your mouth and start chewing, your body temperature melts the honey and changes the experience as this candy goes from brittle to chewy. It can be quite a mouthful, so I suggest you nibble on tiny pieces and take your time enjoying the sweet and savory experience. GREG