Today we did another session with Rachel from Cuffufle, this time with our regular group and a few guests. As well as making fresh Coleslaw and Salsa which we potted up for everyone to take home – along with the recipes so they can easily make their own – we did a Taste Test. This involved comparing our home-made relishes with ones bought from the Supermarket.
The Coleslaw we made was very crunchy and wasn’t heavy and gloopy like the supermarket version we compared it with. The Salsa we made was much more refreshing and tasty than the very sweet and uniform textured supermarket one. One of the other big differences was the little portions of the shop bought relishes, compared to the generous portions of the home-made ones. Rachel had costed the ingredients carefully so that the cost of buying the raw ingredients for our home-made recipes was as close as possible to the cost of buying the finished products from the supermarket.
Most people prefered our home-made produce but some comments were that the coleslaw and the salsa could have had stronger flavours – more pepper and more chilli for example. However some of our regulars don’t like, or can’t tolerate, spicy foods and you can of course adjust the recipes to suit your own tastes.
More tricky were the blind tests – which were a little different as instead of testing our own home-made products we compared those made by Cuffufle and other ‘farmers market’ produce with supermarket fare. When we tried the Raspberry Jam (on crackers) and Rachel’s Raspberry and Apple, surprisingly most people liked the supermarket version, although both were nice. You got quite a lot more for you money in the shop bought jar, though as we found out, you got a lot more ingredients in the commercial one too. We discussed this earlier when reading the ingredient labels and concluded that generally the less ingredients, the better the product.
With the cheese tests (Plate A for Cheddars and Plate B for Smoked Cheeses), the quantities you got for the same money didn’t vary too wildly. Some of the differences were interesting to note, for example the smoked cheese from the farmers market was actually smoked the traditional way, whereas the supermarket one had additional flavourings to taste smoked. We found that people actually liked both and also just enjoyed eating a variety of cheeses!