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Vanilla: A Taste Test

 
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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


Joined: 11 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:20 am    Post subject: Vanilla: A Taste Test Reply with quote

A taste test for cooks...

This post is primarily for cooks, but rum tasters might find this useful.

Real vanilla extract is pure, real, authentic, powerful and wonderful. Far different than cheap extracts, or so called "natural" or "artificial" imitators. Not to mention there are different sources of vanilla, eg Mexico (minor) and Madagascar (major), each with their own profile. Like rum

So how to really distinguish what is in that tiny little bottle will taste or smell like?

Not so easy. If you touch a drop or two to your tongue you'll find it's very bitter and completely unvanilla-like. I ran across this very interesting way to taste and distinguish your pure vanilla extract...

Quote:
There are several ways that you can taste vanilla extract and get a good idea of the flavor profile that the particular extract has.

Got Milk?

Add 1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract to a 6 to 8 ounce glass of fresh, COLD milk. If the milk is not fresh and cold, the extract will leave a bitter taste. Completely stir the vanilla into the milk. Sip the milk slowly while moving it over the back of your mouth and tongue. This will help you to get the best sensation of the vanilla flavor.

Ice Cream:

Using a scoop of slightly softened vanilla ice cream, (unflavored would be better but not easily obtainable unless your make it yourself) place 1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract. Scoop up some of the ice cream along with the extract. After placing it in your mouth use your tongue to press it to the back of your mouth and allow to dissolve. The best taste receptors for vanilla are on the back of the tongue.

Any of these three methods will allow you to find the extract that you like the best. They will also help you to know whether you are dealing with Pure Vanilla Extract, or just an imitation.

Sugar or Sugar Cubes:

Place several drops of Pure Vanilla Extract on a cube of sugar, or a teaspoon of sugar. Place in the sugar into your mouth and suck on it to allow it to melt. When this test is done with a pure vanilla extract versus an imitation vanilla, the difference is immediately noticeable.


Now is that cool or what? And is just me who is gonna try this with a flavored rum? If you do, please email or post your findings...
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araprado613
Oscar


Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh...these are really interesting -- yet tricky -- techniques. But yeah, very helpful.

I prefer using vanilla bean when I'm cooking though.
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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3467
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a follow up, the truth is actually quite interesting...


Although the primary taste component in both pure and artificial is vanillan, the pure extract also contains and estimated 240 or so other ingredients. However, these are heat sensitive, ergo:

1. In a heated product, say baked cookies, most tasters cannot reliably identify the pure from the artificial.

2. In "cool" recipes, say a pudding (with minimal cooking/heat needed), the additional components of the pure extract are more notable; however, some tasters do not like them, others prefer them.

Bottom line: there is little practical difference, unlike say something like raspberry flavoring which in most cases contains NO components of the real fruit. There is nothing phonier than raspberry, grape or strawberry flavorings. Still, the issue remains that vanilla is a commonly used adulterant secretly added to many rums to make them seem aged and more complex.
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