Saturday, May 16, 2009

Until we have learned to taste....

Posted by Picasa
"Until we have learned to explore, our tastes are so limited, our experience is so narrow, that we can make no valid comparisons, can found no true judgements. So it is with food. We must learn to eat first." (The Robert Carrier Cookbook)
Forgive me for being such an unreliable blogger over the past month. I have been recovering from a back problem. Due to the combined magic of painkillers and an osteopath I am slowly getting better and returning to normal life. And back to blogging!
I haven't ventured outside much but I couldn't resist the invitation to be a judge for the Great Taste Awards at the Real Food Festival in London. Having spent 18 months of our lives tasting an entire alphabet of vegetables, Freddie and I have learnt to explore tastes. But until you have had to taste 10 different flavoured sausages, 9 boozy ice creams, 8 sloe gins, 7 chocolates with chilli, 6 gluten-free cakes, 5 fruit jams, 4 savoury biscuits, 3 hot puddings, 2 fine butters and 1 noble anchovy you haven't really earned the title of taster. On my table was a wondeful lady from Devon, a farmers wife and an experienced Womens Institute judge known as Ruth Maile. She taught me how to scrape back the butter and see whether it is well blended, to think about the balance of flavours in a spoonful of jam, and to consider the crispness of a savoury biscuit. I left feeling as if I had been through the equivalent of an aerobics exercise for the palate. On the final day of judging I took Freddie with me and we were invited to sit on the Supreme Table.
This table receives all the recommendations from the other judging tables for the coveted gold awards. You don't know what products you will be sampling. So he was a little nervous. Until the plates of chocolate started to arrive, lining up on our table, waiting for a second opinion. He turned to me and said,"This is my idea of a brilliant job - can I be a chocolate taster?" And on our table was just that - an experienced chocoatier Marc Demarquette who encouraged this fledgling chocolatier to put aside his pocket money chocolate palate and learn to identify the taste of a really good quality cocoa bean.
Learning to explore food, learning to taste, Richard Carrier was right. Until we have done that we can't make valid judgements. Children should be given classes in tasting and exploring food. Any of you have any inspiring ideas for encouraging children to widen their taste horizons?

43 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:09 PM

    What a glorious idea! I know it must start with children; however, I sure do have a few hundred adults who could use a little taste widening experience too. If you read a number of the food bloggers, they are dealing with spouses who won't eat this or that or even try something! I was raised with the concept of the "No thank you helping" Eventually, some of the NO THANK's became may I have more?

    I stumbled on your Blog back about the letter G.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That sounds like so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Welcome back, Charlotte

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Charlotte, glad you are back among us! Sounds like Freddie enjoyed the tasting, I would have too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. "The best chefs I know are the ones who most enjoy eating". Ferran AdriĆ .

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice to have you back - and what an exciting thing to do!!!
    The WI lady sounds lovely and I'm so envious of Freddie tasting all that top-notch chocolate with Marc Demarquette.

    What other exciting adventures have you got planned?

    Celia
    x

    ReplyDelete
  7. Charlotte, it is good to see you again and glad to hear that you are on the mend. I totally agree with the sentiments of this post.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Charlotte8:37 AM

    Thanks everyone..and Trig - i love that quote.

    Do any of you specifically run tasting classes for children - rather tha cooking?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Welcome back. Like an addict waking from a long slumber in a drug rehab, we watch you rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good to see you back and better. As for tasting - just let them taste it! Pop over some time. Love to the family.

    Cheers
    David

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous1:01 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous10:16 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is really a well laid out website. I love how your posts tie in with the food and drink theme so well. You seem to really love your site. I myself love to read up on recipes along side helping others in health. Keep up the great work here and please visit by my blog sometime. The url is http://healthy-nutrition-facts.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  17. I couldn't imagine not trying out new things but know many people who would avoid anything new. Thanks for this post can't wait to see many more.

    Christine

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've always been quite adventurous with the foods I eat. Glad to see someone promoting adventurous eating.

    ReplyDelete
  19. There should be no such thing as limitations when it comes to food. Break some boundaries and try everything at least once!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi... Looking ways to market your blog? try this: http://bit.ly/instantvisitors

    ReplyDelete
  21. Beautiful , yummy site-love the pictures! Thank you! Betty

    ReplyDelete
  22. That is so exciting! Being invited as one of the judges is for me a great honor. How lucky of you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yikes, the blogspam! Just wanted to point you towards this new book: Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater

    ReplyDelete
  24. mind that a lot of people are in. The sense of wanting to help, but not knowing how or where, is something a lot of us are going through. Please come visit my site Fresno Yellow Page Business Directory when you got time.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am not really sure if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your great job is clearly identifed. I was wondering if you offer any subscription to your RSS feeds as I would be very interested and can’t find any link to subscribe here. Please come visit my site Sacramento Yellow Page Business Directory when you got time.

    ReplyDelete
  26. often to read more updates! Please come visit my site Local Business Directory Of Boston U.S.A. when you got time.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Glad I stumbled into this article! Finally, got what I was looking for to put on my school report... Thanks for sharing this. Please come visit my site Phone Directory Of Seattle City Washington WA State when you got time.

    ReplyDelete
  28. you! Please come visit my site Free Business Listing of South Carolina when you got time.

    ReplyDelete
  29. you! Please come visit my site Business Services Web Directory Of South Dakota when you got time.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Awesome! I have read a lot on this topic, but you definitely give it a good vibe. This is a great post. Will be back to read more! Feel free to check out my site advertising tv when you got time.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I found your blog on google and read a few Thanks for the information you mentioned here, I'm looking forward to see your future posts. Cheers !! Please come visit my site take out give me any valuable feedbacks.

    ReplyDelete
  32. You may have not intended to do so, but I think you have managed to express the state of mind that a lot of people are in. The sense of wanting to help, but not knowing how or where, is something a lot of us are going through. Please come visit my site Philadelphia Yellow Page Business Directory when you got time.

    ReplyDelete
  33. You may have not intended to do so, but I think you have managed to express the state of mind that a lot of people are in. The sense of wanting to help, but not knowing how or where, is something a lot of us are going through. Please come visit my site Local Business Directory Of Philadelphia U.S.A. when you got time.

    ReplyDelete
  34. . Since I’m new to blogging, these articles are greatly appreciated; very useful and informative blog and every body must visit this blog. Please come visit my site Laredo Business Directory when you got time

    ReplyDelete
  35. . Since I’m new to blogging, these articles are greatly appreciated; very useful and informative blog and every body must visit this blog. Please come visit my site Laredo Yellow Page Business Directory when you got time

    ReplyDelete
  36. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  37. This seems like it would be a very interesting blog to keep up with. Please come visit my site Business Forum give me any valuable feedbacks.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I can see that you are putting a lot of time and effort into your blog and detailed articles! I am deeply in love with every single piece of information you post here. Will be back often to read more updates! Please come visit my site Fashion Directory when you got time.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Growing Corn, corn plant, corn planting, sweet corn planting basics. sweet corn planting basics

    ReplyDelete
  40. What a facinating article. I’m looking for a marketing expert to help with a project, could you help? Please come visit my site Chicago Business Services And Classifieds when you got time.

    ReplyDelete
  41. very good bloog!!!!
    www.fotografie.przemysl-pl.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Please consider buying your fresh vegetable seeds for 2011 from The Galation Farm, at E-Bay. Online shopping and payment with Paypal, plus the time saving convenience of having your seeds delivered!

    Jonathan L. Gal, The Galation Farm, jlglex99@gmail.com

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230559043904&var=&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT#ht_500wt_1156

    ReplyDelete
  43. My 9 year old son is adverse to many vegetables but will eat lettuce, cucumber, pepper and tomato happily till the cows come home.
    He is quite happy to munch on an entire cucumber....
    go figure.

    ReplyDelete

We always love to read your comments - thank you