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!