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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Daydreams and forks....

Did you ever daydream about grabbing a fork and tasting your way through a whole table full of desserts??? I have done that! Four years ago I was asked to be a culinary judge at the Allentown fair. I did it, alone, the first year...then, after hearing the trials of getting judges to participate every year...I volunteered my oldest daughter to help out (she has her culinary degree...) she and I did the last two years, together. We received our information for this year, but could not fit it into our schedules...so we had to decline.  One of our local radio DJ's is a friend of mine...she IS judging this year!!! I talked to her, today, and gave her some tips...because it isn't anything like your daydream!!!! First of all...there is a select group of participants that take this very seriously...as well they should, because if it is "sponsored" (think the Pillsbury bake off cookbooks...) this is just the first step. If you win, you go on to compete at the next level...and if you win the whole thing, there is some serious cash at stake!! It is in the food "rulebook" that presentation is everything...for good reason! When it comes to food...we see first, then smell, then taste. Some of the contestants really go all out with their presentations! (and I must say...the ones that LOOK the best, usually get the highest scores!) As I'm sure you can imagine...not all the entries are amazing...but, no matter what, I am sure that everyone gives it their all!! They are ALL watching you taste their creations, too...a responsibility not to be taken lightly! The very last thing you would want to do is hurt someone feelings...so, no matter what you are thinking when that fork hits your mouth...you can't show it!!! Not everyone has the same palate, either...there have been some lively discussions, among the judges, about different entries...One person's hit is another person's miss!!Then there is the fact that there could be 40 or 50 entries...that's a lot of dessert!!! They split the desserts (and the judges) so that you don't have to try them all...but 20 or 25 is still a lot!!! Then you have to go back and taste the "narrowed down" group! We are usually racing to get there after working all day, and don't have time to eat...then all of that dessert....oh my! It is supposed to be fun...but it's not easy!!! So the next time you think you'd like to grab a fork...come in to Sweet Memories and order ONE dessert....you'll be MUCH happier in the end....Trust me!!!

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