On today’s’ assignment, we had to choose a food that we had never tried before and do a sensory evaluation (taste, smell, sight, hearing and touch). Based on this evaluation, we had to make a blog post answering some questions and detailing our first impressions of the new food.
I was very excited for this assignment and as I had to try new things I thought it would be a good idea to try the most original form of it, so I decided to search in a small organic grocery shop close to home. I asked the lady who works at the store for some help to choose the best fruits – as they were new to me, I had no idea how to choose a good and perfectly ripe one. The answer I got was: there’s no way to know, it’s a matter of luck. Well then, good luck to me (and thumbs down to the lady at the store). 🙁
As I’m always exaggerating and could not choose between my final two options, I chose the Pomegranate AND the Grapefruit.
I had never even seen a real pomegranate before these two, just online and on tv shows/movies. I know that it sounds weird but it’s not a common fruit in Rio de Janeiro (my hubby told me he had seen it on a few traditional Christmas parties, but that’s about it).
I had a hard time trying to guess which fruit would be good or ripe enough. I thought the fruit was kinda funny and didn’t understand it quite well at first. It didn’t really smell like anything and the outside of all the pomegranates in the store kinda looked like the same, so I sort of randomly chose two that looked fine to me.
When I first opened the fruit I didn’t really feel any strong scents, it‘s just very light and sweet. I bought two pomegranates just to be sure and both had totally different aspects on the inside. One of them had more of a fleshy part that reminded me of the cashew fruit and the other one looked way darker with visibly less of the fleshy part. I did a quick google search for pomegranate images and my conclusion was that the cashew-looking one wasn’t ripe enough and the darker one was overripe. As they didn’t look or smell spoiled and I didn’t have any parameters anyways, I tried both! \o/
First I tried the overripe one, that smelled better. I realized this made sense since fruits usually have a stronger aroma when they are ready to eat. The other one had a considerably lighter smell.
My first impression was that it was sweet and very light – in taste and smell. When you try it without smelling it (literally blocking your nose), it even tastes sweeter than it actually is. When you eat it normally, I found it very interesting that along with the sweetness you can taste a little dryness, like an astringent taste – once again reminding me of the cashew fruit.
The aspect that I found the most different about the pomegranate is how you eat it. You have a whole bunch of tiny seeds and I am guessing you are only supposed to eat what’s around them… That got me wondering that if I could find a perfectly ripe one (like these gorgeousness I’ve only found on Google so far) it would probably be great to eat a bunch of the seeds at once, like passion fruit.
I still want to try a pomegranate again, hopefully with someone that knows – and can teach me – how to pick a perfectly ripe one to see what the fuss is all about. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike it I’m just not really head over heels for it. So far it seems like a lot of trouble for such little flavor.
I have never seen a grapefruit in Rio either! I’ve actually always been very curious to try it since there are several cosmetics that use grapefruit scents and I’ve always found them incredible. Since I’ve always had a thing for citrus flavors I was really under the impression this would be pretty great.
It was definitely a lot easier picking a grapefruit than my previous experience had been with the pomegranate. It kinda looks like a giant orange, and just like any other citrus fruit I checked the texture and softness before picking one.
On the inside it’s a little brighter than most oranges or tangerines that I have ever seen; it is a gorgeous mix of pink and orange.
Quite the contrary from the Pokan Tangerine (the fruit it had reminded me of the most), the grapefruit doesn’t have a very strong aroma before you open it but when you do… DEAR LORD. The smell is heavenly! It’s almost like a perfect mix of oranges, limes and tangerines. That smell took my expectations way up there…
Once I finally tasted it… What a disappointment! It tastes like a good orange bagasse. At first, you experience a delicious citrus taste, a little sweet, a little bitter… but then you are hit by this horribly strong bitterness! I was so sad!
It seemed funny to me that at first the grapefruit reminded me of Aperol but when I googled it, I learned that Aperol is an infusion of sweet orange with a type of bitter orange! So it all makes sense now.
What struck me as most interesting was definitely the delicious aroma and it made me wonder how people eat it for it to be tasty.
I wouldn’t mind if I didn’t see another grapefruit for the rest of my life (can you spell trauma?LOL), but since I have this philosophy of trying new foods at least 3 times to give my mouth and brain a good chance to understand it, that is what I will do. There has to be a secret behind this deliciously smelling but horribly bitter tasting fruit that makes so many people like it. And I am on a mission to finding out what it is!
ABOUT THE ASSIGNMENT
I think this kind of analysis of new discoveries is so interesting that I’m creating a category on the blog about this called Descobertas e Sabores (Discoveries and Flavors in Portuguese).
Even though I have a preference for salty, sour, citrus and fresh flavors there is no such thing as a food that I wouldn’t taste if someone tells me it’s worth trying. It’s rare for me not to like food in general. Being the curious person that I am and now living in Toronto, such a multicultural and different city from my hometown, Rio, I feel like going out every day to try some different food from all over the world! ♥ All I need is “time” (or maybe we can say, money? LOL).
With this first tasting experience, I have learned to pay more attention to every little detail of what I eat, not just to new discoveries but also with the cuisine I’m already used to. It’s so fascinating how you start seeing the same sort of food with a different perspective when you look a little closer.
This new perspective is helping me become more careful with each ingredient chosen for a recipe and also to realize how important it is to taste each step of its preparation to have a wonderful result.