Best of Both Worlds

Hello again whoever is reading this out there. This week we were told to perform a sensory evaluation. For everyone who doesn’t know what that is, it’s when we try something that we have never had before and describe the five sense. We do however go into more detail in taste.

Since I got this assignment I couldn’t really think of a “new” food that I have never tasted before. I didn’t want to pretend that I never had Parmigiano Reggiano so I could have the perfect sensory evaluation. And I didn’t really have the “balls” to go out and try bull’s testicles. I started working at William Sonoma recently and one day while working I found something called Mulling Spice. I read further into it and found out that you could use it not only to make apple cider but also to make Mulled Wine. So I thought I’d give it a shot and make mulled wine for my sensory evaluation. I chose a Ruffino Chianti which is a medium-bodied and fruity profiled wine. I tried it and found it to be sweet and dry. It was a perfect balance in my opinion, and I would suggest that if you are moving from white to red wines try this one first. After tasting the wine I followed the recipe on the back of the mulling spice but adjusted it to suggestions from people who have tried making it already.

Infusing the Wine

Infusing the Wine

Mulled Ruffino Chianti

  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 5 tbsp of mulling spice

While simmering these ingredients you could really smell the fruitiness of the wine coming through. Closer to the end of the simmering process you could really smell the cinnamon, orange rind, allspice and clove. After 20 mins of simmering I was finally able to taste what I had been smelling. The best way to describe it was imagine drinking apple cider and red wine together. Since I chose such a fruity based wine it was just like drinking apple cider. You got the really earthy flavours from the cinnamon, allspice and clove. While you got the fruitness of the wine still there as well as slight hints of orange. I can say that this is an honest balance between the wine and the spice that come together to make something extremely enjoyable in warmer climates. I wonder if it would have a different flavour if served cold…too bad their was none left to try it.

Final Product

Final Product

To sum up this sensory evaluation I learned that by combining two things that I enjoy separately you can make something extremely enjoyable. I like wine like any Italian and I really like the spices found in the mulling spice. Who knew that combining the two flavour profiles you would elevate them to make an earthy and fruity blend? I know there are probably people out there that know this basic principle but for someone who loves to cook and is learning new things you start wondering if you could us these spices elsewhere. I already use my palate in trying to identify what is in dishes and figuring out how I can make it at home. What I want to take back from this week is how to perfect my palate in order to become better a determining flavours as well as a flavour profile.

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CHEF BIO

Name: Andrew FrancesconiIMG_1677

Bio: Ever since I was a young, I was always in the kitchen. Whether it was with my nonnas or with my mom, I was either stirring the pot or watching as they would move around the kitchen with such ease. Since then it had always been my dream to be a chef and open a restaurant. My cousins and I would joke a lot about opening a family restaurant and everyone would have their own specific role in it.

My philosophy towards cooking has been influenced by the food I was raised on. Simple Italian cuisine has been the backbone of my family. Whether it was a simple pasta bolognese or a muset (boiled meat), I love the modern and rustic Italian cooking. While writing this I want to include quotes from chefs that I find interesting. The one quote that really stuck in my head while writing this was this one:

YOU DON’T HAVE TO COOK FANCY FOOD OR COMPLICATED MASTERPIECES – JUST GOOD FOOD FROM FRESH INGREDIENTS.” – JULIA CHILD – (http://chatteringkitchen.com/culinary-quotes/)

I feel like this quote will be one that sticks with me throughout my career as a future chef. Unfortunately I am not working in the industry yet, but a few opportunities have raised and I am almost positive many more will be coming my way. What I hope to show from this blogging experience is my background, passion and love for food and all that is cooking. Enjoy

– AF –