I had an interesting sandwich the other day. It was tuna spinach wrap but mixed with a mustard blend with a smidgen of capers. Needless to say, it was quite savory. Was there anything I could have told the chef to add (rather than remove) to reduce the savoriness of the dish?

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    Savoury is an overloaded word so you will probably have to explain better what you mean by it. Do you mean salty? Not sweet enough? Were the mustard and capers coming through too strong? Jun 20, 2013 at 18:45
  • Mild, bland cheese cover most sins--but still, you will have to explain in more detail what you didn't like about the sandwich to get a cogent answer, as @ChrisSteinbach suggested above.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Jun 20, 2013 at 19:16
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    @ChrisSteinbach: Why wouldn't you assume the literal definition, i.e. umami flavour? Tuna is generally high in it. It's possible that the OP is using it incorrectly, but it's not an inherently ambiguous culinary term.
    – Aaronut
    Jun 21, 2013 at 0:27
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    @Aaronut I would not make that assumption because I am not sure how widespread knowledge of umami is, and also because none of the ingredients listed are well known as being exceptional sources of umami compared to things like parmesan, fermented soy products, anchovies, Maggie, and the other usual suspects.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Jun 21, 2013 at 1:49
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    @Aaronut In this case I would assume it means salty/spicy/flavorful as in "sweet vs savory" - that's probably a more commonly known meaning in a non-culinary context. The named ingredients only reinforce that.
    – Cascabel
    Jun 21, 2013 at 15:05

2 Answers 2


Savory usually means spicy & salty.

If you wanted to cut the sharp salty taste of the mustard & capers you could have used a 'sweet mustard' preparation.

I'm not sure if the spinach in the 'tuna spinach wrap' was actually leaf spinach or one of those green 'wraps' like a tortilla? Spinach has a bit of a metallic taste that some people find sharp. Switch to a mild lettuce like Romaine or even ice berg to offset such strong flavors as tina, mustard, & capers.

A bland cheese or mayonnaise can also help balance too much sharpness or 'tang' also.

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    I don't know where you get the savory definition. To me, in general English usage, it means the opposite of sweet. As in, "Are those muffins sweet or savory?"
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Jun 23, 2013 at 14:36
  • @SAJ14SAJ If you take "spicy" to mean flavorful (not hot), then this is really not that far from your definition. People also often say "sweet or salty".
    – Cascabel
    Jun 23, 2013 at 16:22
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    I got the definition from the Merriam Webster English dictionary. The opposite of sweet could be sour, salty, (umami), and or spicy as in 'hot' given what culture you are from.
    – Samsara
    Jun 24, 2013 at 16:48

It sounds as though the distinct caper and tuna flavors were too much for your palette. It is also possible that, smidgeon or not, there was too much of either. If I were you and returning to the same place I would try to cut the flavors

  • adding mayonaise or some other fat that would absorb the flavor
  • adding mustard to distract from the intensity
  • adding lettuce to the wrap to add a fresh, crispness that would mitigate any saltiness
  • by reducing the quantity of tuna/capers

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