Tuesday, February 17, 2009

And The Winner Is...

So we had our first Food Tasting Party on Sunday and the spotlight was on Chocolate Ice Cream. Eight different brands were selected to taste, and everybody was excited to see if there would be much of a difference between them. I know Jen and I were definitely curious as to whether we would choose our normal favorites when ‘blindfolded’. Jen came to the party without eating lunch, so she was definitely ready to taste some ice creams!

There were many twists and turns when it came to the likes and dislikes. There were one or two that everybody agreed were very good and there were one or two that everybody agreed were simply awful. Other than that, opinions varied.

Even though nobody could agree on a decisive winner – which is great, because how boring would that be – Turkey Hill was the only brand to make it into everyone’s Top Three favorites. I think that’s pretty significant, considering all the differing opinions.

For the majority of us, Jeni’s Ice Cream made it into the Top Three favorites and was described as rich, intense, and fudge-like! It was a little too rich for Karen’s blood, but Carrie was all over it. It was agreed that you wouldn’t have to eat much of it to satisfy a craving for chocolate. This unique Cocoa Gelato definitely stood out as one of a kind.

Graeters ( Jen and I’s longtime love) made it into the Top Three also – Woo-Hoo! We were both just a teeny tiny bit nervous to sit down for a blind taste test – just a little nervous that our taste buds might betray us – how silly! Graeters is Number ONE for a reason. Neither Jen nor I typically order plain chocolate ice cream when at Graeters, so this was new territory for us. We were both relieved to know that all of our over-the-top love and respect for Graeters has been warranted over the years! And even though Graeters did not officially take first prize in this contest, this is Jen and mine’s blog, and we have declared it the winner in our hearts, so…...hence the picture of Graeters as the winner!

And I am proud to announce that every single one of us girls sniffed out the Kroger “Crap”, as we called it, and gave it two thumbs and eight fingers down! This was the only brand of low quality ‘ice cream’ that was allowed into the contest - simply for entertainment purposes. When this brand was revealed to us in the end, we all patted each other on the back for knowing what sugar syrup, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, yellow #5 and #6 taste like – it tastes like yuck! Taste, texture, and quality were all so substandard that a few of the girls washed it down the sink – refusing to waste the calories on it. Jen and I couldn’t do it. I know…….very sad…but we have this addiction...

Nobody was shy when it came to sharing their thoughts and opinions about the different brands – in fact, Carrie’s first comment on Ice Cream Number Six was, “It tastes like dog food!” Too bad Number Six was my very own homemade chocolate ice cream. My heart did not completely break in two, only because when I ran all the ice creams by my nieces and nephew the night before, they had unknowingly given mine the two thumbs down also, so my heart was already half-way broken. If truth be told, I didn’t trust the kid’s taste buds when they rejected my homemade brew, because I really liked my homemade stuff, but when I ate it alongside the other seven, I had to agree with them - it did not taste right. I don’t know if I would have gone with ‘dog food’ ...CARRIE – the first member to officially be thrown out of the group - but truthfully, nobody liked it. (just kidding Carrie, you’re still in). Boy, did all the girls feel bad when they found out it was my homemade ice cream. Yeah! They felt so bad, they laughed until they cried – as did I. I guess I’m going to have to tweak something….

Interesting to note: The first ice cream we tasted was liked by everyone. By the time we got to Ice Cream Number Three, Karen commented that she wasn’t sure that anything could compare to Ice Cream Number One. By the time we got to Number Five, we all started to wondered if the first one tasted so good simply because it was our first taste of chocolate for the day. Soooooo, to test that theory, we re-tasted Ice Cream Number One at the very end and we all agreed it definitely tasted different than before. Karen, however, stood by this brand and named it her personal favorite. Patty and Carrie kept it in their top three favorites, but Jen and I immediately took it out of ribbon contention. The brand? Aldens Organic.

Surprisingly, Breyers did not make the top anything. Neither did Patty’s normal choice for ice cream, Purely Decadent. It’s made with coconut milk, so it’s dairy free. Everybody agreed it was good overall, but when competing alongside dairy ice creams, it just couldn’t hold up. However, if you were looking for dairy free/soy free ice cream, it's a great choice. Patty also noted that Purely Decadent’s other flavors were superior to the chocolate, so if your body has some sort of issue with milk, definitely check it out!

We had lots of fun and look forward to the next party! The foods we discussed exploring more are breads, cheeses, apples, pears, peanut butters, potatoes, and squash. We may have started with ice cream, but our real objective here is to explore good, healthy foods and learn to appreciate all the different flavors that we can experience with each particular food.

Certainly let us know if you have any ideas of what foods you would like to know about, or better yet, start your own Food Tasting Club!

Coming Soon... Roasted Veggie Quesadillas That Will Make Your Mouth Water!


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