Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Condiment Tasting

Imagine heading into an apartment where four rooms are filled with tables laden with hot sauces, honeys, olive oils, salts and other pantry staples to taste. Each product is labeled, little bowls are filled with condiments and tiny spoons, chunks of French bread and pretzel sticks are always nearby. People wander from room to room, tasting, oohing and ahhing over their discoveries, some even taking notes. Sound like fun? It was for the participants from Craigslist Food Forum who brought all sorts of things to try and compare this past Sunday, and filled up a vacant apartment in the process.

In addition to being a great opportunity to socialize, it was a terrific way to try lots of brands of basic items all at one time. Some of the tasting was "blind" notably the butters. Have you ever tried tasting ten types of unsalted butter at one time? If not, I highly recommend it. You might not expect that the taste would vary much, but it really does. The interesting thing for me was that my top pick ended up being the butter I buy all the time, Plugra . I guess my taste buds have really grown accustomed to one type of butter.

There were a ton of olive oils. In the blind tasting I discovered that I liked yet another olive oil that was out of my price range. Oh well! There were also some flavored oils. A few flavored olive oils that I particularly liked were the Stonehouse Persian Lime and the O Meyer Lemon . I am already fond of Stonehouse Blood Orange and it compared favorably to the other orange flavored oil varieties.

More on the tasting to come...check back Thursday.