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Sep 11, 2013 03:54 AM

Blind taste testing of your favorite brand: have you done it and what were the results?

When I was in grad school, a business student friend of mine had to run a taste test between Classic Coke (which was just called "Coke" because New Coke had not yet been invented) and Pepsi. As a veteran coke drinker, I was sure I could tell the difference and promptly was proven wrong. (I still think that I can tell the difference and would like a rematch after 30+ years. This test occurred in a dorm room and ice was used. I think that it threw me off!)

Next, I hate diet, low-fat, non-fat, artificial sweetener, "light," "healthy," foods of all kinds. My girlfriend, an advocate of anything "healthy," bet me that I could not identify real eggnog from light eggnog. In a blind taste test, I lost--two Christmases in a row. (I am aiming for a rematch this December.)

Have you tried blind taste tests of your favorite brands? How were the taste tests set up? Were you able to tell the difference between your preferred brand and competitors?

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  1. Yes, in fact, I have!

    My previous thread and results on the following:
    1. Campbell's tomato soup
    2. Hostess Twinkie's
    3. Brach's Candy corn

    1. In some other thread long ago, I documented an interesting occasion which is not about brands but maybe relevant re: blind taste-testing.

      After reading a Calvin Trillin article about this in the New Yorker, I used a family gathering of probably 20 persons to do this taste test: can you tell whether a wine is a red or a white wine at room temperature? I asked everyone to bring an under-$20 bottle to the party, and we had a teenager in the family bag up the bottles and run the whole blindfold thing.

      Believe it or not, most people could do not regularly discern white wine from red. As it happens, I was able to do so pretty well. But a number of my companions who were serious wine drinkers could not.

      Interestingly, my father, our resident wine snob, was quite bad at telling the wine color but better than most at specifying the national/regional origin of the wine.

      Try this. It's a fun party game.

      The Trillin article:

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bada Bing

        Interesting article, Bada Bing. It's consistent with my inability to differentiate Coke from Pepsi, despite my own insistence that they taste extremely different. As a wine buff, I am less surprised by the red versus white difficulty. After all, many whites are made from red grapes. They are just not left in contact with the skins to accrue color from the skins. Still, the inability of truly experienced wine drinkers to tell the difference at Davis is amazing.