Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's a Citrus Tasting Party

It's Food Tasting time again and this party's theme was Citrus. Our wonderful and beautiful host was Miss Jen and she did a stellar job!

She not only arranged to have us taste a variety of oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, but she also had some citrusy desserts for us to indulge in between tastings. She decided that as much as we strategize to add cheese to every tasting party, cheese does not go with citrus, so she filled our bellies with dessert instead. How's that for a brilliant plan?

So...I'm going to cover the citruses first and make you wait for the desserts.

Pictured center stage up above is the Blood Orange, which had a very distinct flavor - a wine flavor, as a matter of fact. We were all very impressed with it's rich, deep color and it's unique flavor. It definitely stood out next to the Navel Orange which tasted like good ol' orange juice. I can't say that the Cara Cara wowed us much with it's flavor, but Clementines are always yummy.

The White Grapefruit, shown above, was the runaway winner in it's category, which shocked most all of us. The Rio Star was expected to be the favorite, but the White was new to all of us and stole our hearts. That's not to say we didn't appreciate and enjoy the Rio Star and Pink, but the White Grapefruit was the dark horse. What does that mean for you? That means you should go out and introduce yourself to the White Grapefruit and see if you can make a new friend, like we did.

The Meyer Lemon was also a big winner with it's sassy tartness, but deliciously, sweet twang. When tasting the lemons I chomped down hard because I adore the bite of a good lemon and the way my face contorts when the juice explodes in my mouth. The rest of the girls took small, little bites of the juice to avoid such facial contortions. The regular Lemon was just that...great and wonderful, but the Meyer was outstanding! The Meyer Lemon would be perfect for freshly squeezed lemonade on a hot summer day.

The Meyer is native to China and is thought to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. It has a little bit of an orange hue to it, so keep that in mind when looking for them.

We also tasted a Minneola, which was very mild like a tangerine, and the Pummelo, which was nice, but not knock-your-socks-off good, so that's all the attention we're giving them here because it's time.......


Jen served us Frozen Orange Yogurt that she made herself with the help of her handy-dandy Cuisinart ice cream maker.

It was light, mild, citrusy, and a little bit was perfecto and it was only the beginning!

She also made in her Cuisinart, a Frozen Meyer Lemon Sorbet that everyone nearly died over. I've never see Anne look so blissful as she sat quietly in her chair, eyes closed, happily spooning the sorbet into her mouth. She left us momentarily and took up residence in La-La Land. I'm sure plain lemons would have tasted just fine in this recipe, but around these parts we don't settle for "just fine", so we strongly recommend that you use Meyer lemons if you too, want to take a trip to La-La Land.

Now, it's no secret that Jen and I are Jeni's Ice Cream snobs, but I'm telling you right now, Jeni's lemon sorbet had NOTHING on Jen's Meyer Lemon Sorbet.....just saying!

Oh...and check out the stunner down below. This was the finale and wow, did it create a stir! An Elegant Citrus Tart with a toasted coconut crust, a buttery orange curd as it's filling, and freshly peeled and sliced citrus segments as it's topper. How beautiful is that?

I must tell you that I was super nervous that I wouldn't get a picture that did this masterpiece justice, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I think it's beauty and elegance pops from the photo, but sadly for all of you, you actually had to be there to taste the flavor.

The flavor was light, divine, and unlike any other dessert I've had. It should be served to royalty. I know I felt like royalty when I ate it.

While everyone was swooning over the tart, Jen gave each one of us a little "take home" jar of the Buttery Orange Curd. We love her. :)

There was wine at this party too...white wine, that is. There are no pictures because I was busy drinking it, but if truth be told, there wasn't a lot of wine drinking happening at this tasting. We were too busy eating desserts and citrus.....happily.


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