The Educated Palate® sensory training kits are a vital part of culinary education by providing a means to improve the user's ability to identify herbs and spices and to increase understanding of the flavoring potential of individual ingredients. This knowledge is essential to culinary students and professionals, but anyone interested in cooking will benefit from using the kits.
Culinary Flavors Basic Kit
The Culinary Flavors Basic Kit consists of 25 liquid culinary flavor samples in 2-dram (7.4 ml), amber glass vials with plastic caps. The samples are contained in a sturdy plastic hinged-top box with grid to hold samples securely. Vials are fitted with orifice reducers that deliver 1 drop of essence to the tongue. Each vial is labeled with a code number which allows users to test themselves on their proficiency in identifying the culinary flavors. Also included in the kits are the number code key, a "how to use" guide, photographs of the herbs and spices with descriptions, history, and foods with which they are traditionally paired.
Fun, Easy and Effective.
The kits are fun for the students, easy for the Instructor and an effective tool for educating the palate.
How To Use the Kits
To refresh your senses of taste and smell between samples, have on hand:
bottled or filtered water
water crackers or plain white bread
3-4 unflavored coffee beans or a spoonful of ground coffee (optional)
- Open a flavor sample vial.
- Move the vial back and forth under your nose while inhaling the aroma.
- Turn the vial up-side down over your tongue (the plastic insert will prevent the liquid from spilling). See illustration below.
- Using your index finger, tap the bottom of the vial. This will deliver one drop of flavor onto your tongue.
- Write down your thoughts, comments or impressions about the flavor. Try to guess what it is. Forms to write down your guesses can be downloaded from our website: www.educatedpalate.com
- To cleanse your palate, take a sip of pure water and a bite of plain bread or an unsalted cracker.
- To refresh your sense of smell, sniff the coffee beans.* If you do not have coffee beans, just sniff the crook of your elbow.
- Try another sample.
It is not necessary to go through all 25 samples at the same time. Learning a few at a time is just as effective and may work better for some people.
To check your guesses see the "Key to Flavor Samples" adhered to the inside of the box top. As you check the correct answers, look at the photo of the flavor source. This will help you identify the herb, spice or flavor visually as well as by aroma and flavor. It is even better to have the actual source of the flavor, such as fresh or dried herbs and containers of spices
*Your ability to detect an odor decreases with continued exposure to that odor, a property called olfactory fatigue. Smelling the beans between each oil eliminates any scent left from the previous oil.