Posted in artisan food, baking, Bay Area eating, bread, chocolate, food sampling, humor, SF Chocolate Salon

SAT for the Discerning Foodie

I recently joined a Meetup for people who like to eat. It’s my new professional group. The kick-off event involved tasting a variety of foods and rating them. Participants received a comment card that listed vendors and their products. We also received pencils to fill in little stars, rating featured foods on a scale from one star (ick) to five (yum). As I moved around the room, tasting and marking my card, I couldn’t help but notice that the columns were resembling those in the SAT.

I came up with my own SAT for the discerning foodie. Please read the selection, then respond to the questions.


Our heroine began her sampling with savory sauces. She liked when the vendor said, “You may eat as much as you want.” She tried kale tahini, smoked chipotle, and pomegranate parsley. She didn’t like any of them. She moved on to organic olive oil (pretty good). Next she tried orange poppyseed flat bread, followed by chocolate sea salt quinoa cluster, almond quinoa cluster, peanut butter cacao quinoa cluster. The peanut butter one was the best of the bunch, but it, too, could have had more flavor. She moved on to nuts–habanero honey, original blend, and coconut beach crunch (all lacked luster, except for coconut). She enjoyed crunchy almond moringa superfood, but thought chocolate purenola, fruit and berry granola, and totally free organic granola were nothing to rave about.The dates were chewy and not too sweet.The sea salt chickpeas were bland. She liked the hiranya chai spiced honey and fir honey as well as dark chocolate malted fudge and ooey gooey (trademarked name) caramel sauces. Whole grain lady birds tasted like shortbread, but wasn’t. The breakfast cookies –orange cranberry nut and cocoa–were quite tasty as was the vegan chocolate chip cookie and original frittle, aka peanut butter brittle that was very peanut buttery, but also so sweet that after 1/8″ piece she had had enough frittle brittle to last her a lifetime. The spiced watermelon pickles were also way too sweet and the maple and nibs chocolate was too bitter.

After that, she walked to the main hall to explore the artisan market. She loved Cowboy Toffee’s toffee, especially the English toffee, bittersweet chocolate, cyprus sea salt flake combo, which amazed her. She also tried English toffee with semisweet chocolate and roasted almonds, English toffee with milk chocolate, toasted marshmallows, and graham crackers, and English toffee with white chocolate and roasted almonds. Onwards to CocoTutti, whose chocolates she had the pleasure of meeting/eating at the SF International Chocolate Salon in March. She sampled nondairy toasted coconut, lemon lavender, blood orange, ginger caramel with peanut and Thai oil, raspberry, citrus infused caramel with almonds, and liquid vanilla caramel. Her favorites were the first five. She preferred Roxanne’s cranberry almond granola to any she had previously tasted because it was flavorful without being sweet. She also was partial to Roxanne’s biscotti. First she tried triple ginger with fresh ginger, candied ginger, and powdered ginger, then pumpkin biscotti, made with organic pumpkin, butterscotch pieces, and Viennese cinnamon, then butterscotch. Even though the butterscotch is Roxanne’s #1 bestseller till the pumpkin comes out, our heroine liked the ginger best. Her taste buds, which are her best buds, are always partial to ginger. She liked the design of Burma Superstar’s hand cut lotus chips and thought Della Terra’s Meyer lemon olive oil was very lemony. She especially liked the lemon olive oil cake, which which was the most lemony lemon cake she has ever tasted. Speaking of lemon, she enjoyed Sinful Salt’s lemon flavored salt more than the rosemary and habenero, but preferred the sea salt on the toffee to the sea salt with bread and olive oil. Diane Love Lifestyles’ Love Morsels aka fruitcake was exquisite and the spices reminded our heroine of pfeffernusse. She also liked Diane’s Kookra Crisps, made with pecans, dates, currants, golden raisins, dried tangerine, and Meyer lemon peel. Sour Flour’s crispy, crunchy croutons had hints of parmesan, black pepper, and olive oil.

SAT portion. Be sure to read each question carefully. Use a No. 2 pencil. If you erase, make sure no lines are visible. Are you ready?

1) our heroine began tasting

a) chocolate sauces

b) savory sauces

c) watermelon pickles

2) Watermelon pickles is to frittle because it is

a) spiced

b) savory

c) too sweet

3) Please fill in the blank:

You may eat as much as you …..

4) ooey gooey is the trademarked name for

a) caramel sauce

b) granola

c) biscotti

5) Which of the following is an amazing combo?

a) peanut butter and jelly

b) ham and cheese

c) English toffee, bittersweet chocolate, and cyprus sea salt flake

6) At the Chocolate Salon in March, our heroine had the pleasure of meeting

a) the creators of Bazooka Bubble Gum

b) CocoTutti

c) Captain Kangaroo

7) Our heroine’s best buds are

a) her taste buds

b) her foodie friends

c) all of the above

8) Her favorite CocoTutti flavors were

a) graham cracker crumbs

b) teriyaki beef jerky

c) nondairy toasted coconut, lemon lavender, blood orange, ginger caramel with peanut and Thai oil, and raspberry

9) How many samples did our heroine try altogether?

a) Not nearly enough

b) more than 52

c) less than or equal to 52

10) The spices in … reminded our heroine of pfeffernusse

a) what is pfeffernusse?

b) fruitcake

c) lotus chips

Congratulations on finishing. You, too, can move on to a Higher Sampling Education.