Sunday, August 14, 2005

America's Stupid Test Kitchen

I got the latest Cook's Illustrated the other day. The raspberry bars are pretty good, and the wrong berry proportion in my attempt was probably a result of not yet owning a kitchen scale. There's also an article about canned tomatoes, a subject I've pondered a few times recently. In particular I wondered what they'd have to say about the Muir Glen brand, which a chef friend recommends. Well, as it turns out, they like Progresso the best, and a bunch of imported Italian brands the least.

Actually, as it turns out, there's a perfect correlation between the ranking and the acidity of the product. Tasters like the brands which have added citric acid.

When I read this, I wanted to tear out my hair. They need to repeat the expt balancing out the acidity.

Hey, ATK, how about hiring someone with a Ph.D. in hard science?

(As an aside, the article has fascinating things to say about canned tomatoes - American brands use citric acid and calcium chloride to brighten and firm the tomatoes, and Italian brands are packed in puree not juice because of punitive [i.e., 100%] tariffs placed on European vegetables and fruits by Bush I [when in puree, whole tomatoes are considered sauce by the regulations]. I'm not sure how I feel about calcium chloride; I have a definite opinion about protectionism, esp. under a Republican president.)

(p.s. Tasters called the Muir Glen organic tomatoes "waterlogged", "chewy", and "stringy".)


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7/12/05 10:45  

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