Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On Aesthetics: Indiscriminate Palettes

Researchers gave 18 volunteers five food samples to try in a blind taste test -- and only three were able to identify the canine fodder, according to a paper by the American Assn. of Wine Economists.

LA TimesThe taste of dog food? It's harder than you think to identify:
That's because you probably wouldn't be able to differentiate which is which in a blind tasting, according to a study being released today.

Researchers provided 18 volunteers five food samples to try in a blind taste test. Only three were able to identify the canine fodder.

"We have this idea in our head that dog food won't taste good and that we would be able to identify it, but it turns out that is not the case," said Robin Goldstein, a co-author of the study, which was published online Thursday as a working paper by the American Assn. of Wine Economists.

Goldstein said the tasting demonstrated that "context plays a huge role in taste and value judgment," even though researchers warned the participants that one of the five foods they were going to taste was dog food.

The five samples came from a wide price range and were processed to have a similar consistency. The foods were duck liver mousse, pork liver pâté, two imitation pâtés -- pureed liverwurst and Spam -- and Newman's Own dog food.

Thanks for the link Jabe, priceless.

1 comment:

Nixta said...

When I was child, we stayed with this Italo-Slovenian family who ran a bed & breakfast on the northern Adriatic coast in Portoroz. Even taking into account the somewhat ugly dialect of the region (Slovenian infused with Italian and a strong pinch of drunken mumbling, slang and disinterest), these people could barely speak. They were gypsies in a house and I never worked out how they afforted it but it was probably Communism. The daughters ran around flashing their sunburnt privates and the sons drooled their way around the house with one hand shaking in a trouser pocket and the other stealing things. The cat once scratched my brother up so badly that we had to take him to hospital and on another occasion I looked up from my bed to find a scorpion on the wall about 2 feet away, James Bond style.

They were a nice-enough family though, and they had Italian TV (where kid's shows had boobs and 80s leotard crotch) and were a quick walk down the hill from the beach/promenade (where there was more of each).

As a special treat, and remember this was Communist Yugoslavia, they would take a monthly trip to Trieste to spend our sterling on some luxuries. After one such trip I was sitting on the couch next to the older daughter watching cartoons. As I raised my eyes from her exposed crotch on the way to her tanned cleavage, they stopped on her plate. It contained mashed potatoes, a small salad, and the contents of a tin of cat-food that had been warmed up. This was their luxury. Canned Italian Meat.

That very day I decided I would never marry a gypsy.