The Great Taste Testing

Source: cliparts.co

Source: cliparts.co

I love to taste things especially in fancy grocery stores with fruits and vegetables that I can’t pronounce and don’t know how to cook. It is all so exotic.

I love to shop on sample day. Hmmmm….samples. You get an introduction without commitment. It’s like dating. Sorta.

I try things. That’s how I found out I love pretzel chips as a dipper. And sweet hot sauce as a dip!

There are the regional and national aisles. Invariably I’d get sucked into buying a Chinese or Italian something or other. I bought a Caribbean sauce that I never would have bought without the sample.

Sometimes the purchase is wonderful and some end up in a landfill with Jimmy Hoffa. It happens.

It’s been a long time since I went to a grocery store just to browse and taste. Lately I go with the beloved husband. He is not a dawdler by nature. He has a list, fills the basket with list items and we are out of there. It’s the right way to shop but I miss roaming the aisles looking for samples. (It must be my primitive gathering skills coming to surface.)

We shop at the local Farmers’ Market too. I sample the peanuts while he buys them. If he talks sports with the proprietor (and with our local teams there is a LOT to talk about) I mosey over to the cheese place and check out any new cheeses. Calcium you know! Dips and baloney beckon. There is a pickle place too.

Shopping is the first part. The big event is the unveiling. Ripping bags open on the kitchen counter!

Everything must be tasted immediately — a slice of lunch meat, a piece of cheese. Maybe a strawberry or another piece of fruit. Sometimes it’s a carrot that’s calling to me. Or Auntie Anne’s pretzels. A spoonful of potato salad or deli delight.

Bakery goods are fair game. If you are buying to take somewhere you can have a piece. You cut all the rest up and take it on a tray. No one will know one piece is missing. Or two. Besides you don’t want to take the ends.

Fresh warm baked bread are bought two at a time. One for the road and one for the meal. Warm bread doesn’t need anything on top. I can comprise and entire lunch!

Today is Farmers’ Market day. Hope the beloved husband has a LONG sports discussion with Mr. Peanut man. Hmmm….samples!

Do you sample and taste? Or are you more disciplined?

 

 

43 thoughts on “The Great Taste Testing

  1. I don’t think i’m shopping in the right places! I haven’t been offered samples in a very long time. your favorite stores sound really interesting and I’d probably make a whole day out of visiting and sampling. I wouldn’t be able to resist! 🙂

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  2. I don’t try samples any more. I did in the past and always felt obligated to buy the item. Somehow, it never tasted as good at home.

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  3. I’m definitely a taster. I don’t often buy what I taste but sometimes I discover a new bit of wonderfulness. Happy birthday, fellow January birthday sufferer (although it sounds like you did pretty well for yourself)! I’m looking forward to your photos with your new camera… although the ones with your old camera are awfully good!

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    • You may not notice the difference because I photoshopped my old photos pretty extensively to get the lighting right. Hopefully you will see a difference in sharpness. My old camera was good for a long time. I must have bumped or knocked something out of whack. Everything was getting so washed out it was hard to correct.

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  4. H samples and tastes even when he shouldn’t. You know – the fruit aisle. Grapes beware! I sample when there is a sample. I also have contributed to the landfill on some bad decisions. Right now we have a huge block of cheese we may never eat. It’s good but you know – that Fitbit thing I’ve been obsessed over! ~Elle

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  5. Have fun at the Farmer’s Market, Kate . . . hope your sampling is sublime! After all, it is your birthday month!

    We sometimes sample. Fresh Market always has 2-3 coffees available to try. And sometimes a bite-sized goodie in the bakery department. Before the holidays, they have Buffet Sampling . . . where you can sample a whole plate of goodies.

    But like you, I don’t partake if grubby hands have been pawing over the samples. 😯

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    • In our local upscale grocery store they only do handouts with a person wearing gloves. The farmers’ market is chancier but if I can see that it was just put out I’ll try it. Sometimes if I want to buy strawberries or some berry and am worried about the sweetness I’ll throw caution to the wind.

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  6. Oooohhh, See’s Candies learned long ago that the way to earn repeat customers is with a free sample. And seriously, who turns down a free sample of chocolate? Especially good chocolate. The only terrible See’s Candy is chocolate-covered ginger. It took me a while took over that one, even though they offered me a free alternate sample as soon as they saw my face contort.

    Andy does most of the shopping at the Farmer’s Market and elsewhere. So See’s is my only sample place. Pity me. 🙂

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  7. I’ll taste samples at stores like Costco. Our grocery stores have the “help yourself” samples and I’ve seen too many kids reaching in once and then again, after putting their fingers in their mouths…yuck!

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    • One time there was a tray of cheese cubes with a pack of toothpicks next to it. It didn’t take a genius to figure out you use the toothpicks but an old guy with sausage fingers fumbled in and grabbed a piece in the middle. I think he touched them all. After that I stick to places where they hand it out. Much safer. Who knows where those sausage hands were last. I also won’t take them if they appear to have been out in the air where people “talk” over them. Tasting is more of a challenge when you’re a germophobe.

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  8. I love tasting too. I often stare at an item and don’t buy it because I don’t want to spend money on something that I haven’t tasted. I wish everything came with a little taster – like perfumes but with food.

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