Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Blind Taste Test

I've always enjoyed my grapenuts with milk, warmed in the microwave for about 45 seconds, and drizzled with honey. If I'm trying to be fancy, I'll sprinkle some sliced strawberries on top. But grapenuts in ice cream? As my grandma would say, "I never heard of such a thing!" At least not until I moved to Boston.

The other week, a chef asked me to make some grapenut ice cream for him. After babysitting my niece last weekend (sitting there as she napped, wondering how bad it would be if I woke her so we could play, and then continuing to sit there as she napped), I got a ride from my sister and brother-in-law to Toscanini's and grabbed a pint. It was surprisingly simple. The cereal doesn't really have a crunch to it anymore, and the only added ingredients seem to be vanilla extract and grapenuts. Time to put my spin on it.

To resemble my favorite method of grapenut-eating, I made one batch with honey, (one failed half batch of honey,*) and one batch with just enough vanilla to bring out the flavor of the dairy. I was happy with them both and, while that's exciting, it's also confusing; I have no idea which to move forward with. So, I took my two flavors and Toscanini's over to my sister's for a blind taste test.

My sister, Jessica, tasted all three and couldn't decide between two of them. My two! I hold her opinion of food in high regard, so I didn't need to do any more blind taste tests. But I couldn't help myself. So far, I've done five others and, while some friends have been nervous that they'll "pick the wrong one," I've consistently come out on top! What a confidence-booster -- it's so great to feel like you're good at what you do.

*note to self: half batches aren't worth it.