A quick post to tell you about a non running, (yes I do other things aswell as run) new experience I had this week.
I signed up to be part of a tasting panel some time ago and this week was the first opportunity I have had to go along. It was a 20 minute drive from home and I left the house after my lunch not knowing what to expect. I arrived at my tasting location just before I was supposed to, suffering from road rage recovery!! I had managed to get behind a tractor transporting what appeared to be sprouts and then had to wait whilst a long wheel based lorry turned around in a very narrow road and last but not least had to drive through fog banks. I got there eventually and signed in at reception with a group of others. I scanned my fellow tasters and decided that most people in this bunch were mid to late 50’s with the odd person in their 40’s and I was the spring chicken amoungst them (pardon the pun, you’ll get that later)
All signed in, a group of approximately 30 of us convoyed through the building and out of a fire exit to another building. From the posters on the wall and signage I’d guess that this was the Consumer Testing block. We filed along a corridor and into a clinical looking classroom all white and light grey. This is where we were told the list of things we would be tasting. Our taste buds were going to be subject to a variety of breadcumb/stuffing combinations, coating chicken and lamb or served with chicken and lamb and 2 desserts.
We then split in to a large group in one room and a group of 5 in another. I was in the small group and followed my 4 counterparts in a sheep like fashion into another room that was set up with booths. In the booths there was a computer and keyboard, the keyboard had a protective plastic coating on. A jug of water with some plastic cups and water biscuits on a small white tray. To the right of the keyboard there was another tray with a plastic knife and fork on. The computer displayed all of the instructions on what to do and a click through survey. My first job was to enter my consumer ID which was taped to the bottom of the compeer screen. Then the samples began to arrive. We received them one at a time with new plastic cutlery each time. I checked the number on the sample against the one on-screen and then tried a small amount. I rated each one on appearance, flavour, aroma, texture, taste and overall opinion with and gave reasons for liking or disliking at the end. In some cases I rated one sample against another. Here is the list of what I tasted:
- Lamb coated in horseradish & rosemary breadcrumbs
- Lamb coated with Moroccan breadcrumbs
- Chicken coated with lemon and cracked black pepper breadcrumbs
- Chicken coated with panko breadcrumbs
- Roasted chestnut, hazelnut and thyme stuffing
- Pink lady and pistachio stuffing
- Lemon drizzle dessert
- Strawberry and cream scone dessert
After a small amount of each of these, half a jug of water and 2 water biscuits to cleanse the palette. I was POGGED that’s full to bursting feeling like I had Pob cheeks.
The whole experience took an hour and was one I enjoyed, so I have now signed up for my next reviewing session where I will be visually assessing chicken 🙂 what an exciting life I lead.
Thanks for reading Claire 🙂