Blind Tastings

We often hold blind tastings in the F&W Test Kitchen, and they're fascinating for a few reasons: Not only do they open our eyes to new favorites, but they can also redeem foods we've unjustly maligned. One example: For years I had a problem with Grey Poupon mustard. I was convinced it was too salty, and whenever anyone mentioned that they liked Grey Poupon, I would proclaim its saltiness and insist that there are much better mustards out there. Then one day we had a mustard tasting (blind, of course). We were asked to name our number-one favorite among the varieties we sampled. On the comment sheet, I wrote: “This is the best-tasting mustard. Well-balanced, tangy and full-flavored.” Well, guess which mustard that turned out to be? Grey Poupon now has a permanent place in my fridge, right next to Cholula hot sauce from Mexico.
Later on, we had a blind hot-sauce tasting, dipping plastic spoons into little ramekins full of the spicy stuff. This is what I wrote about my beloved Cholula: “Harsh, salty, thin-tasting, yuck.” When the identity of the hot sauce was revealed, I couldn’t believe it. But you know what? I still like Cholula. I still buy it and use it regularly because it still tastes good with food. Sometimes, tasting something like hot sauce on its own isn’t necessarily a good test for how it might react with food. Cholula is mildly hot, which I like. You can use it almost like ketchup. I have other hot sauces of varying heat levels and flavors, and I prefer Cholula for certain things like sandwiches and potatoes. It doesn’t interfere or add a distinctive taste. Just a pleasant bit of heat and tang.

It will be interesting to see what happens if we ever have a mayonnaise tasting. Hellman’s has been my all-around favorite forever—or maybe not?

DownComment IconEmail IconFacebook IconGoogle Plus IconGrid IconInstagram IconLinkedin IconList IconMenu IconMinus IconPinterest IconPlus IconRss IconSave IconSearch IconShare IconShopping Cart IconSpeech BubbleSnapchat IconTumblr IconTwitter IconWhatsapp IconYoutube Icon