A little while ago, I got thinking about blind taste tests. Growing up, we would do them every once in a while for fun to compare different brands, versions, of flavors of various foods. I’m not sure exactly how we got started doing this, but part of me has to wonder if the TV show The Shopping Bags must have played at least a small part in it. I’m not entirely sure if this show aired outside of Canada, so if you aren’t familiar, the show essentially focused on Anna and Christina setting up blind taste tests and comparing food and household products each episode. Back in the early 2000s, it was really interesting to watch especially before online reviews were as common as they are now.
But all this got me thinking – does everyone else do these fun taste tests too? I did a poll on my Instagram Stories and was surprised to learn that more than half of the voters had never done a blind taste test for fun before! But despite this, over 95% said they did think it would be a fun activity to do. So with this in mind, I thought I ought to write this post as a fun suggestion on how to have your very own blind taste test at home. There isn’t really a right or wrong way to do it exactly, but these are a few suggestions to keep in mind!
Originally I was planning to do this taste test with store-bought maple-flavored cookies – I noticed four brands all made them and haven’t tried them all – but realized with Easter coming up, it would be the perfect opportunity to do this with candy-coated chocolate eggs, commonly known as mini eggs. Some people seem to swear by one brand being the ONLY option, but it makes you wonder if they can pick out their favorite when comparing other options too! In these photos, I used Cadbury Mini Eggs, Hershey Eggies, and Great Value Mini Eggs. I actually kind of wish I had also included another value brand from a different supermarket chain to compare them too!
One thing to keep in mind when setting up your blind taste test is how different the candies look. In this case, the eggs are fairly similar but the sizes and colors do vary. If you’re doing this taste test with adults or teens they might be more familiar with the looks of the various eggs especially if they have a favorite brand going into the taste test. If you’re doing this with kids, or don’t think your participants will be able to recognize the brands by eye, you can set the stations up as shown: in a bowl or plate, each labeled with a letter. The person setting up and labeling these bowls will know which is which, so can’t exactly participate in the test in the same way.
If you want to do the taste test without seeing the food being tasted, someone will have to be the candy distributor while the tasters close their eyes. If you want to do this so that everyone tastes A, B, and C all at the same time to discuss aloud, it can help to put the candies in mini muffin papers, still keeping them sorted by brand, to hand out easily while the tasters have their eyes closed. The candy distributor can participate this way too, but it has to be after the other tasters have already eaten their candies, and then one of the tasters then gives candy to the original distributor to try, but out of order so that A, B, and C aren’t the same as they were in the first place.
Whichever way you choose, taste testers can try each one, discuss their thoughts out loud, or maybe even make a few notes on a piece of paper if you want to remember specific thoughts. A few fun things to try are:
- Picking your favorite tasting candy
- Trying to match the candies (A, B, or C) to the brand names
- Discussing flavor differences
- Discussing which brand you had thought was your favorite going into the experiment
Once everyone has made up their minds, reveal which candy is which. Did everyone guess exactly right or were there some surprises?
This is a fun idea to do year-round with any type of candy, treat, or food! You can even do it with jelly bean flavors if you don’t want to buy multiple bags of candy.