Sweet or savory?

Frosh. Lauren Espy samples the sweet, a chocolate chip cookie.

Emily Book

Frosh. Lauren Espy samples the sweet, a chocolate chip cookie.

   We yanked the oven door open pulling out Emily’s mom’s homemade mac and cheese, slamming the pan on the kitchen island eagerly ready to bring the dish to school the next day. At school, Jr. McKenzy Hogan stared attentively at the plate of bubbling mac and cheese and the gooey chocolate chip cookie. She lunged for the savory dish first, then finished the cookie after. “The flavors are incredible together. This homemade mac and cheese is by far the best I’ve ever had,” she exclaimed. “That’s another win for savory,” we said, typing in the votes.

   For as long as the internet has existed, there have been heavy arguments on whether or not savory is better than sweet or vice versa. Is there a correct answer? Of course not, but any opinion about it is very valid. Believe it or not, choosing between sweet and savory can say a lot about someone’s personality. Sweet could show you’re just as sweet as the chocolate lava cake your grandmother made; you have a bright and bubbling personality. Savory could show you have a spiced-up perspective of things; you’re a risk-taker. 

   Launching ourselves into this debate, we decided to make Emily’s mom’s baked homemade mac and cheese recipe (savory), and her chocolate chip cookie recipe (sweet) to see which one satisfied our tasters more.

   We started out by baking the homemade mac and cheese, which would be the hardest dish to make. We gathered all of our ingredients and quickly got to work. 

Mac n cheese: Savory

   On one side of the stove, Carlos started boiling the macaroni noodles; on the other side of the stove, Emily began mixing all of the sauce ingredients to make the cheese sauce.

   After we both completed our separate tasks, we combined the cooked noodles and the creamy sauce. We then made our bread crumb mixture and sprinkled it on top of the luxurious mac and cheese. After this, we put the mac and cheese in the oven to be broiled, to make for the perfect crispy top.

   Alas, the scrumptious baked mac and cheese was done and ready to be taken into school for taste testing the next day.

   Now to tackle the cookies. We got out the ingredients and got to work. We mixed the wet ingredients together, followed by the dry. After this, we stirred in an entire bag of chocolate chips. You can never have enough chocolate chips, right? 

   It was time to let the cookie dough cool in the fridge to make for less spreading out when the cookies bake.

Chocolate chip cookies: Sweet

   We let the cookies cool for 15 minutes, took them out of the fridge, scooped them onto the baking stone with a cookie scooper, and put them into the oven. Fifteen minutes later, the cookies were done and Emily’s house smelled like heaven paid a visit to Earth. 

   The cookies were done and ready to be devoured the following morning.

   At school, our original taste testers were, unfortunately, sick, so we had to go to plan B: MOWO choir (Men of West Ottawa). As we set up in the back of the room, everyone immediately sprung up and formed a line to get a taste of what we had prepared. Some of the choir boys even tried heating up the food by rubbing their hands together rapidly over the food, thinking something would happen. 

   “I bet this mac and cheese is going to taste like mac and cheese..” one of the men said. 

   After minutes of reheating and separating different bowls, the glass dish of mac and cheese and the container of baked cookies had almost disappeared. Plates were gone, forks were snatched as if a hurricane had just come out of nowhere. Many had alternating opinions.

   “This tastes like a grandma cookie in a good way. Like, the right amount of dust, crunchy-ness, if you know what I mean by that. Everything. Almost like a ‘natural mothers love’ feel and you feel nice eating it. I loved it,” said Soph. Liam Kent, as he tried reaching for another. 

   “I love this mac and cheese. I want more, now. Feed the poor,” someone said from a corner of the choir room. “Feed the stampede!”

   Piano Accompanist Jennifer Florip had a bowl herself. She much enjoyed the savory dish and the sweet baked treat. Early lunch!

   Eventually, we left the choir room and made our way back to our journalism class to cast more votes, collecting Frosh. Lauren Espy and Soph. Savannah Karsies to try what’s left. Arriving, we used Ken Strobel’s trusty microwave to heat up the mac and cheese and divided it into bowls. 

“I rate this one star,” Espy said annoyed, “because I didn’t get to have more. But I like the mac and cheese because I wanted more after having my bowl of like three pieces, you know? It was the best. And with the cookie, I was like ‘Oh, I had one and I’m okay now.’ But the mac and cheese was scrumdiddlyumptious, you know? Mmm.”

Karsies agreed, “Everything she said I want to reiterate. That mac and cheese was absolutely bussin and the cookies were also really good. But I want more of your mom’s mac and cheese. I would like to go to your mom’s house and ask her for more.” Despite being lactose intolerant, both of our participants chose mac and cheese.

   Sr. Ben Riley had mixed thoughts. “It is hard to compare something like mac and cheese to a cookie because they are two completely different foods, but I really liked the taste and texture of the mac and cheese,” he said. 

   “The mac and cheese was exquisite; the cookie…was a cookie,” Sr. Alexander Spilotro exclaimed. 

   So now the question: sweet or savory? By a vote of 14-7, savory (the homemade baked mac and cheese) won with twice the amount of votes as sweet (the chocolate chip cookies).    

   Obviously, there is no right or wrong answer to which side is better, and the debate will most likely never end. But it’s fun to argue over what tastes better. I mean, it’s an excuse to eat. Even though choosing one or the other might present how you are as a person, you can never go wrong with a cookie or a spoon full of baked mac and cheese.