Palate cleansers ... for the cook?
- ipsedixit Dec 20, 2010 04:48 PM
You taste as you cook, right?
That is, taste a bit, then season (if necessary), then taste a bit again, cook or stir, then taste a bit, etc. Repeat as necessary.
You do that while cooking, right?
But you ever notice that your palate becomes "soiled" the more you taste? So that after a while you're no longer getting a true taste of what you are, um, tasting?
Let's say you are making a sauce. You taste. A bit bland. You add a dash of salt and pepper. Stir and cook a bit. Taste again. Still bland. But wait. Your tongue or palate is now "soiled" from your first taste of that sauce so that now as you taste the sauce a second time around -- even when the sauce is now more "salty" -- you don't notice the difference.
Do you bother to account for this effect? If so, what do you do about it?
Surely, you don't taste and spit a la wine aficionados, right?
A sip of water perhaps?
Something else, maybe?
Pinot Grigio - sometimes a sip of Lager or Pilsner.
I can't say if it actually works or not, but it's good enough for me.
Not usually problematic to me unless I'm cooking something slow-simmering and have tasted dozens of times. Wine or beer, maybe followed by a swish of water, usually does the trick. Or the girlfriend gets called off the couch---especially to help judge if there's enough salt or fresh citrus in something.
I do sometimes suffer from taste bud fatique. When I was a chef this issue occured more frequently than I care to admit. I found that by tasting just a index fingertip full was enough to ascertain the need for further seasoning, and prevented the inevitable dulling of the senses.
I sip water or eat a piece of unbuttered bread to clear my palate. If all else fails, I call mrbushy, although he's really no help, as he has no nose for aromas and prefers things more sweet/salty/less spicy than I do. So he is relieved of duty and back to bread and water.