Taste Test Fail

I was so excited. I was scheduled this week to participate in 2 paid market research studies that involved taste tests. I had found my true calling. It fit my skill set so perfectly. I could sit on my ass, eat and/or drink, use a computer, give my opinion, and get paid for it. I was born for that. I do that at home all the time and never get paid for it.

The first taste test went well. I got to try 2 versions of a berry granola cereal. The first version was skimpy with the berries, and I gave it a thumbs down. The second version was loaded with berries and earned a better rating from me. What I don’t like about berry cereals is the dried berries have a weird texture unless they get softened with milk. It was a timed taste test, so I had to crunch through some of the berries which I didn’t like. I much prefer fresh or thawed frozen berries in my cereal.

At the conclusion, I collected my Visa card loaded with cash and headed home. It sounds like a success, but there was one big problem.

It was just too darn far. It took an hour each way to drive. And the next day’s taste test was at a place a bit farther away in a town where I used to grudgingly drive my youngest son for basketball tournaments that started at 8AM on Saturday & Sunday mornings. Ugh! I would have gone if I knew it was a taste test for Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes with a mornay sauce garnished with truffle paté, brandy and with a fried egg on top and Spam.

But I had no idea what I would be taste testing other than it was another processed food item that some large conglomerate planned to foist upon the palates of unsuspecting consumers. And so, I canceled my nascent career as a taste tester.

I sought solace in the cornbread muffins that my youngest daughter baked.

They looked great, but apparently there was an accidental use of baking soda rather than baking powder. The muffins were as bitter as an old man who realizes that he no longer has the flexibility, dexterity, or visual acuity to clip his own toenails and must rely on his ungrateful son who never appreciated being raised with firm but fair discipline and only visits now out of a mixture of duty and spite.

I decided to make the best of it and crafted the Bitter Muffin Challenge. I would see how I could garnish the bitter muffins to make them palatable and possibly even delicious. I started with thawing some frozen strawberries and making a muffin topping. Looks delicious, right?

Well, looks can be deceiving. The strawberries were unable to cover the bitterness. So rather than sweet, I decided to try a strong flavor to mask the bitterness. I topped the muffin with Swiss cheese.

A quick 20 seconds in the microwave yielded this covered bitter muffin (bad name for a band).

While the cheese covered the muffin nicely, it did not cover the bitter taste. I’m not one to waste food as I have eaten garbage pie. However, I am ready to admit that I lost my Bitter Muffin Challenge and will send the rest of the batch to muffin heaven (good name for a band).

And speaking of heaven, click this link to check out my award-winning book of short stories about the afterlife. You won’t be as bitter as these muffins that you did.


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