Market Musings Blog

Taste the Difference! Round 1: Butter

Mississippi Market’s members and shoppers are a savvy group, but feedback tells us that many people are reluctant to try new brands and varieties of expensive foods.

If it’s only a matter of comparing, say, your usual daikon radish to the flashy watermelon radish, it’s easy enough to drop one of each into your basket and sample to your hearts’ content. When it comes to expensive foods that commonly come only in fairly large quantities, however, most folks are grateful simply to have found a brand or variety that you like, and you leave it at that.

hope_creamery_butterMississippi Market to the rescue!
On Sunday, August 25, we began a series of Taste the Difference! tastings in our kitchen classroom so you could blind-taste Mississippi Market and big-box foods that you might otherwise not try. Our first tasting was of butter—and by the end, everyone was definitely buttered out. Five brands of unsalted and six of salted butter were blind-tasted by participants, on slices of Rustica baguette. The butters ranged from big-box store brands to some of the co-op’s customer favorites. None of the participants had any idea what they were tasting, so their votes were on taste, mouth feel, texture, and color alone.

butter & knifeThe winners: first place among unsalted butters was shared by Hope and Rochdale Farms; first place among salted butters was awarded to Hope. Interestingly, none of the participants had tasted Hope butter before, though most of them promptly sped off to the dairy case following the tasting to score a pound of it.

Why did they attend our first Taste the Difference! blind tasting? 
“I was so delighted to see that the market was holding tastings of foods. I am very unlikely to buy several varieties to compare myself, because what am I going to do with five or six different brands of butter or olive oil?” one of the enthusiastic butter eaters told us.

Olives_in_olive_oilWe agree!
And we hope you’ll join us for our next Taste the Difference! on Saturday, November 9, from 3–4.30 pm at the West 7th store, when we’ll taste a wide variety of olive oils – both for cooking & for dipping.

Filed under: Dairy & Eggs