Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Blind Taste Test


Recently I bragged that I could actually tell my lemons from others. I foolishly challenged myself to a taste taste. Betcha thought I wouldn’t do it, right? Well, we did. We actually made three kinds of lemon ice cream and conducted a blind taste test to see if I could actually tell my lemons apart from store bought. We used the same ice cream recipe, with the only variable being the lemons. There were three ice creams, using our own Meyer lemons, our own Eureka lemons, and some nice looking lemons that I bought at Trader Joes.

We made the ice cream over 3 consecutive days, with the same technique and blending time in the ice cream maker. My friend Tea joined us in making the last batch, picking the lemons herself from our backyard.

So after Sunday dinner (roast turkey, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, green beans and garlic), we conducted our experiment. I set out a tray containing 3 each of 3 types of tasting dishes, one for each flavor. I made unofficial scorecards for the three of us. We left the kitchen and my husband graciously scooped 9 balls of lemon ice cream, placing post-it notes on each container so that we could identify and link each ice cream to each tasting dish.


We had to work fast, as the ice cream melts quickly. First off, it was yummy. Light, refreshing, and smile inducing. The texture was basically the same on all three but the flavor varied greatly. The Meyer lemon is a much more intense flavor than either of the other two, owing to its thin and flavorful zest. The Eureka lemon is a softer, subtler taste. The store bought lemons provided something in between, tasty but just not as flavorful.

Did I get it right? You bet. I got all three right, as did my daughter. Tea was disappointed that she could not identify the ice creams properly, but had fun nonetheless. And to celebrate, we sliced up some wonderful just-baked Lemon Olive Oil cake with a big scoop of…you guessed it…lemon ice cream!

3 comments:

lee said...

Are you kidding? I've been waiting for this write up! I wish I had been there though...

Mrs. B said...

It was fun, although I was a bit nervous after my bragging. I should have another bunch of lemons ready shortly, so come on over and get your fix....

Tea said...

I can only say that my failure to correctly identify the homegrown goodness was because I have not had as many lemons to practice on as you have (though you've been beyond generous with them, and I am endlessly grateful). I am haunted by the shame.

Also, the truth is: they were all pretty dang good! I took the leftover Eureka ice cream to my writing group (I wanted to hoard it myself, but a girl has got to think of her thighs). They loved it and were so impressed that it was homemade. I gave all the credit to you, of course.

Thanks for inviting me--though I believe I may have invited myself:-) Wild horses could not have kept me away from a B Family lemon ice cream tasting!