I think all their taste tests are definitely the “most complex and devoted taste-test[s] … the world has ever seen”! They are really amazing.
Really, is there ever such a thing as “too serious”, especially when it comes to taste tests?
Well, I for one enjoyed the complex taste testing. I rely on these kind of people to destroy their palette for me. One of the best think I learned was that nobody could tell the difference once the anchovies were used in cooking! So my can of Trader Joes anchovies are just fine for my tomato sauce.
There are two great books, Cookwise and the Science of Cooking that describe why the addition of anchovies makes a difference in the taste of foods and why taste tests can vary because of all sorts of procedures used. The variety in chemical and heat reactions.are realy amazing.
It also sounds like their lowest-rated brand might have simply been a bad jar. I’d be curious if someone else could replicate their results.
I’ll volunteer, I love anchovies.
A friend of mine recently started making weekly deliveries of sustainably harvested seafood to customers in the SF Bay Area–a “CSS” box (Community Supported Seafood)–and a few weeks ago, it included a pound of fresh anchovies, netted live the day before delivery. He emailed a link to a video he shot, of a chef in Sausalito instructing how to make boquerones, curing the anchovies in salt for a day, then in vinegar another day. Then, I packed them in a jar with olive oil, and they are the most delicious anchovies I’ve ever had. Everyone at work agrees, and friends I’ve shared them with–so full of whatever Serious Eats says makes 'em good, glutamic acid, I dunno. Anyway, just underscores that, even if they’re getting brined and/or pickled: fresh fish are the best!
This is relevant to my immediate happiness.I know what I’m cooking this weekend. Anchovies and pasta was my guilty pleasure/indulgence my first year on my own.
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