All posts tagged: tasting

It’s for School, I Swear

Out in the school’s didactic garden as part of our Biodynamic Agriculture class learning what to look for in healthy soil. Not pictured: when an earthworm (a positive thing in this context) wriggled around and caused one of my classmates to shriek. Yes, I have been traveling oodles lately. But I have also been in school. Though, by the looks of these pictures, it may seem more like I’m just frolicking around eating stuff and meeting cool people. Well, that’s kind of how I would describe the University of Gastronomic Sciences anyways. It’s only 10 years old (and remember, it’s in Italy) so it doesn’t really have the traditions or structure that an older, wiser institution would have. But if you think of it, as I do, as a physical place where experts come to share little tidbits for a few days at a time with a crazy group of 23 Masters students, then you’re golden. For an Editing Techniques class a few weeks ago, we had to make a short movie promoting “fresh and …

Let’s Grow Mold Together

The setup for Day 2. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I had to include a food pun. This week our Masters class had 2 Cheese Tasting sessions with quite possibly the most eccentric food expert I have ever encountered: a little man named Cristiano de Riccardis. I would highly highly highly recommend you watch the link I just included there so you can: 1. Hear his voice 2. Die of laughter 3. Die again of laughter 4. Re-watch the last 10 seconds a few times So I have to say, cheese has really only come on my radar in the last few years, or more specifically, when I moved to a little town in a dairy producing state to study Latin American Politics. I slowly but surely realized that I really heart goat cheese thanks to the case at the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-Op. Apart from knowing what I like and don’t like, I lacked the vocabulary to really evaluate a cheese and also the crucial knowledge of when you should eat the rind and …

“Do you like Fernet?”

What is becoming an increasingly “common” setup. Something to taste. My BKR bottle nearby. But this time there was a DNA test! Ah! For the past week, I have taken a trip down memory lane back to sophomore year of high school. That’s right, CHEMISTRY. Lots of abbreviations and squiggly lines. I have to say I am quite thankful that I am a native English speaker (sorry, guys) and didn’t have to re-learn terms like “triglycerides” in another language. Yikes. Our professor was this petite woman with a not-so-petite attitude. Like a “no BS, I’m a scientist” kind of attitude. She cruised through a PPT with almost 200 slides with ease. When someone answered a question incorrectly, she just said, “No.” She wore the same shirt for 3 days in a row. One day during a particularly long session including some remarks on what exactly is an omega 3 anyway, we paused to contribute to her personal research on the perception of bitterness. Bitter foods just so happen to be pretty much my favorite kind …

Slurping Sounds Welcome Here

My very neat and orderly tasting/note-taking setup. Don’t mind my spit cup. Yesterday and today I had a crash course in tasting olive oils led by a jolly old man from Tuscany with a perfect mustache. His strategy was a little bit like one’s journey of alcohol consumption in college–drink the cheap stuff first (Andre! Franzia!) so that you can appreciate the good stuff later. You may be anxiously wondering about the strange and potentially disturbing title of this post. Well, when you taste olive oil, you take the tiniest sip but then encourage a very violent entrance of air into your mouth via a slurping noise to help disperse the oil droplets over all of your taste buds. Everyone was a bit self conscious to do this until the professor slurped away BIG TIME and then, poof, social anxiety gone. The first thing we tasted, that tricky dog, wasn’t even olive oil! It was peanut oil! This is where the spit cup comes in handy. I then learned that the cheap-o olive oil that I grabbed at the grocery store one day is …