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Philadelphia Tasters' Club


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#1 Vadouvan

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 07:50 PM

So I was thinking people, while I am all about free speech on E-gullet, I feel some of these discussions are exceeding thier life spans with not even a mirage of a conclusion on the horizon.
All fine and good, but wouldnt it be nice if we all could agree or even disagree on something every now and then ?
Here is what we are going to do about it, wouldnt it be fun and informative to actually try to figure out on some pseudo sceintific basis the quality and flavor differences of particular locally accessible products and other fancy food ingredients. If nothing else it should at least spark some conversation and inspiration for all cooks proficient or otherwise.
So over the next few months, we pick an ingredient, source it (hopefully for free), assemble a panel of interested tasters and see what we come up with.
As to the sourcing of ingredients, I am straight up soliciting businesses who sell the stuff in Philly to donate it for FREE for the tastings as it would be too expensive otherwise. There will be no collusion or shilling. The only benefit aforementioned businesses will get is perhaps increased sales and customer awareness from the results. Seems to me like a fair trade off unless somebody wants to pay for it ?

Thanks to my powers of persuasion, I managed to procure 18 bottles of various Olive oils in the last 36 hrs from various generous entities. I didnt think it would be this easy.

Tastees already or soon will know themselves.
Remember that Bottarga question ?

First tasting scheduled for next week.

Tasting 101 : OLIVE OIL.

Other fun topics to follow.

Stay Tuned.

#2 mrbigjas

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 08:16 PM

good stuff, vad.

looking forward to the results.

#3 Vadouvan

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 08:35 PM

It's a bit trickier than I thought Biggie.
In just my preliminary goofing around I have decided there should be no bread involved.
Currently I am trying to see if high quality sterile disposable pipettes affect the flavor of olive oil.
That may streamline the process.
Also I am looking for a vessel that communicates the aroma well.
I think I just found the perfect thing.
This is going to be fun.

#4 KatieLoeb

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 09:34 PM

I would think a decent white wine glass would accomplish this well enough. Maybe not working for side by side comparisons of 18 oils though. Too many glasses on the table!

Katie M. Loeb
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#5 wkl

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 06:19 AM

terrific idea v.

#6 JanMcBaker

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 06:24 AM

I would think a decent white wine glass would accomplish this well enough.  Maybe not working for side by side comparisons of 18 oils though.  Too many glasses on the table!

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Not to mention washing the !@#$ things-- unless they're dishwasher safe and it's big enough to hold them. I know from classes at the RTM what a PITA it is washing just 1-2 dozen wine glasses!

Oh, and I forgot-- I'd be interested in such a tasting......

Edited by JanMcBaker, 25 January 2007 - 06:25 AM.

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)

#7 cdh

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 08:05 AM

Great idea indeed, V. Very interesting idea.
Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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#8 Diann

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 08:20 AM

as dagordon proposed, round II could be steaks (which would involve tasters chipping in, since I doubt you could source from lobel's for free.)

#9 Vadouvan

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 08:23 AM

since I doubt you could source from lobel's for free


You will be suprised how much people give away stuff...
It's all in the way you ask....
I already have a good lead on the chicken one through D'artagnan.

#10 dagordon

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 08:24 AM

as dagordon proposed, round II could be steaks (which would involve tasters chipping in, since I doubt you could source from lobel's for free.)

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Indeed, and I wouldn't rule out lobel's donating a steak, it couldn't hurt to ask... with V at the helm the steak tasting would be much more professional.

#11 Diann

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 08:31 AM

as dagordon proposed, round II could be steaks (which would involve tasters chipping in, since I doubt you could source from lobel's for free.)

View Post


Indeed, and I wouldn't rule out lobel's donating a steak, it couldn't hurt to ask... with V at the helm the steak tasting would be much more professional.

View Post


That would be awesome. I'm just sayin' -- I'm certainly willing to pay for this kind of experiment.

#12 MarketStEl

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 08:43 AM

I've already indicated my interest in the steak over on the thread that probably sparked this one.

I'd also be interested in the chicken.

So: The distance from here to a Philly-specific version of Cook's Illustrated is...?
Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
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#13 Vadouvan

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 08:57 AM

so: The distance from here to a Philly-specific version of Cook's Illustrated is...?



Just about as long as it takes to get "Down the Shore"

Can you believe the grammar of TV repoters here....... :laugh:

#14 mrbigjas

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 09:21 AM

as dagordon proposed, round II could be steaks (which would involve tasters chipping in, since I doubt you could source from lobel's for free.)

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hey, i proposed that!

#15 JanMcBaker

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 10:43 AM

as dagordon proposed, round II could be steaks (which would involve tasters chipping in, since I doubt you could source from lobel's for free.)

View Post


Indeed, and I wouldn't rule out lobel's donating a steak, it couldn't hurt to ask... with V at the helm the steak tasting would be much more professional.

View Post


That would be awesome. I'm just sayin' -- I'm certainly willing to pay for this kind of experiment.

View Post

Ditto for me, about contributing to the costs. I love being able to taste an assortment of a given foodstuff side by side. It's much easier to see the differences when you can taste things one after the other, as opposed to relying on your memory over time of various items.
"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)

#16 hathor

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 11:17 AM

Vadouvan: commendable idea.
Have you ever done an olive tasting before? Couple things: use a small cup that you can swirl and gently warm in your hands. Use raw apples to cleanse the palate between tastes. Are you familiar with the categories of flawed olive oil?
Olive oil tasting benefits from some air sucking noises.
Knowing your abilities, this is probably superfluous, but let me know if you want some info.

#17 MarketStEl

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 11:55 AM

Let me also add that if chipping in is required, I'll gladly chip in. I have no gadgets to contribute to the effort, though. :sad:
Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
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#18 I_call_the_duck

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 12:02 PM

Sounds like fun. Count me in.
Karen C.

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#19 Rich Pawlak

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 07:36 PM

If at all possible I would like in on this tasting.

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#20 johnder

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 07:41 PM

Cool idea V -- when is the NY version?

:biggrin:
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#21 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 06:12 AM

Definitely a cool idea! I hope to see the detailed results published in a reputable journal. Or on eGullet; whatever...

#22 Vadouvan

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 07:48 AM

Vadouvan: commendable idea.
Have you ever done an olive tasting before? Couple things: use a small cup that you can swirl and gently warm in your hands. Use raw apples to cleanse the palate between tastes. Are you familiar with the categories of flawed olive oil?
Olive oil tasting benefits from some air sucking noises.
Knowing your abilities, this is probably superfluous, but let me know if you want some info.



Judy I never profess to be an authority on anything so please supply any thoughts you have.
I have been to oil tasting in Italy while on vacations in the past.
Everyone seems to have a slight variation.
The most effective for my palate in trems of ingestion have been similar to wine tastings (sucking sound), but people do taste differently.
Again I have tasted bad olive oil like grades of corked or materized wine.
Again share your thoughts please......

Cool idea V -- when is the NY version?


John how are you, You are the man in NY, it's your gig, everyone I know or cook with in NY is super passionate about thier oils, it would be preaching to the Choir..... :unsure:

Definitely a cool idea! I hope to see the detailed results published in a reputable journal. Or on eGullet; whatever...


Andrew it will be all on e-gullet if I can get Phila-D to bring his Camera.

#23 Vadouvan

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 08:01 AM

Here is some pre-tasting reading though this scoring system is super subjective.
I plan on a much simpler, fun exercise.


http://www.aromadict...oiltasting.html

By the way, after eating apples in between tasting, I continue to taste apples, I am not sure if they are the best palate cleansers.
So far room temp seltzer water seems to work best....

#24 Vadouvan

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 08:04 AM

Giovanni seems to like regular wineglasses but I disagree about the apples.

http://www.justhungr..._olive_oil.html


Interestingly apples chased with seltzer water seems to work very well but apples alone, no bueno.
Granny smith by the way.

#25 KatieLoeb

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 09:15 AM

Giovanni seems to like regular wineglasses but I disagree about the apples.

http://www.justhungr..._olive_oil.html


Interestingly apples chased with seltzer water seems to work very well but apples alone, no bueno.
Granny smith by the way.

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Apple sorbet, perhaps? The cold liquid texture as well as the acidity of the apples might cleanse the palate more effectively.

Just a thought...

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#26 wkl

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 09:21 AM

pomme lambic anyone????

#27 Vadouvan

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 09:27 AM

pomme lambic anyone????


The new Pomme Vert Lambic is like the Appletini of beers...... :laugh:


Sorbet is way too cold, even if it was just ice, the cold kills your taste perception.
Room temp seltzer water it is.

#28 MarketStEl

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 09:41 AM

Well, it looks like this is shaping up nicely....

will we be informed about time, place and requirements to participate?
Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
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#29 dagordon

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 09:57 AM

Rosengarten mentions the method of pouring some oil directly into your cupped palm, taught to him by Marcella Hazan, but then says that wine glasses will probably be more practical... also mentions chunks of bread (and water) as palate cleansers.

btw, rosengarten's latest shipment of oils for his "fresh pressed olive oil club" are freaking outstanding (imho -- i'm no expert). really rich, much more so than previous shipments. and they have pressing dates on the bottles of this past november, as in two months ago.

info about this latest batch of oils is here.

might be fun to see if you can convince them to contribute some bottles, 703.394.4931 is the phone number

#30 hathor

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 12:59 PM

Here are some of my notes from olive oil tasting classes at Ital.cook.
Vadouvan: you are 100% right...apples and sparking water. And be prepared to want to drink a lot of red wine afterwards, to clean the pipes.
Depending on when you are doing the tasting, I'd love to be involved. If possible.

ORGANOLEPTIC SENSATIONS TYPICAL OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL:
Fruity: aroma reminiscent of the smell and taste of olive (green or ripe): can be light, medium or intense.
Bitter: taste, more or less pleasant according to degree of intensity, of oil obtained from green olives.
Sharp: pungent sensation (from the poly phenols) typical of green, or barely ripe, olives.
Sweet: smooth, pleasant taste of an oil where bitter or sharp tastes are not predominant
Other positive sensations: apple, grass, almond, leaf, tomato, pine nut, walnut, artichoke etc…

Man cannot, in any way, improve the natural quality of an oil: it will be at its best when all the phases of production have been carried out correctly (growing, general health of the olives, ripening time, harvesting and conservation of the olives, processing, conservation of the oil).
Any error or unfortunate circumstance, occurring in any of these phases can negatively influence, even severely, the quality of the end product (defects will be apparent).


MAIN DEFECTS OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL:
Mold: comes from olives where fungi and yeasts have developed because of damp conditions
Heated: comes from olives which have been stored for too long in deep layers or in sacks and have undergone fermentation (mainly lactic).
Winey or vinegary: comes from olives that have undergone alcoholic or vinegar fermentation.
Marc: characteristic aroma from oil which has been in contact with its own lees for too long.
Rancid: characteristic aroma of oxidized oils exposed to air, light and high temperatures.



Regards,
Judith