by Michaela Jarvis
You may not serve grapes dipped in lime juice and salt at your next dinner party, but it’s still fascinating to see what kind of flavor such a combination produces.
Like cooking deconstructed, the Calibrating Your Palate demonstration at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, lets you taste for yourself how different flavors affect each other: how acid can bring out earthy tones in a food; how salt can bring out sweetness. After just 15 minutes watching the demonstration at the Flavor Bar, you’ll begin to taste and season like a chef.
While you’re visiting the Flavor Bar, take time to check out the olive oil tasting, featuring top-shelf oils from California, Italy, and Spain. The oils have been specially stored to protect them from oxygen and sunlight.
You’ll learn how olive oil is assessed and see how it can enhance the flavors of four different food combinations. To top things off, every half-hour, the Flavor Bar offers a crash course in the origins, components, and production of chocolate, culminating in a delectable comparison tasting.
Culinary Institute of America, 2555 Main St., St. Helena, (800) 285-4627, ciachef.edu. Tastings are $10–$11.