While sweet and salty are obviously sought after in the food department, bitter's a flavor that gets a bad rap. True, there's a sort of astringent quality to bitter foods that can make them unpalatable when served plain, but everyone has a different threshold for bitter foods.
For example, editor Susannah Chen loves Sanbitter when a negroni's not close in sight, or a double espresso to sip slowly after a large meal. I, however, find those drinks too bracing to be palatable on their own. In my opinion, bitter foods need to be complemented by creamy, fatty foods like dairy or red meat for balance. For instance, I enjoy a cup of green tea with peanut butter toast, or endive leaves topped with a hefty chunk of blue cheese. What about you? What bitter foods do you love — and which ones are too strong for you to eat plain?