flailing in my kitchen 2.1

How can I be sad when I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
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Sea salt

January 21, 2022 9:40 PM

Last summer I visited my sister, and as I was browsing her bookshelf, I saw the book Salt Fat Acid Heat. I had heard good things about this book, so I read a little of it. The first thing this book talks about in detail are the different types of salt: table salt, sea salt, kosher salt. The author also insists that you should use sea salt or kosher salt. Table salt has iodine and other ingredients that aren't salt and I guess it's better to have "pure" salt. So I told myself that when I ran out of salt, I'd get something other than table salt.

Anyway, I was at the grocery store last week and as I was replacing some of my other spices, I decided it was time to get salt. I bought a small container of "sea salt". I read the ingredients. There was only one: sea salt. Okay, seems legit.

The author recommends tasting the individual salt crystals to really get to know the salt. So I tasted it. Then I tasted the table salt. Then I tasted the sea salt again. 🤔 I could certainly tell the difference in texture, but I don't think my palate is refined enough to tell the difference in taste.

I had to try another taste test! I had some brussels sprouts that I wanted to roast, and I decided to sprinkle half of them with sea salt and half of them with table salt. And all with pepper because that makes them taste even better.

Brussels sprouts, half with sea salt, half with table salt
The book also has salt sprinkling technique, but that's for another day

Cooked brussels sprouts, half with sea salt, half with table salt
Left: sea salt, right: table salt

I cooked these at 425°F for about 15 minutes, and then I popped them under the broiler for about a minute and a half more. I thought I cooked them pretty well! But what about the salts? Honestly, I don't think I salted either side enough. They still tasted good, but I think I'll have to try again.

A meal of brussels sprouts, ribs, and sweet potatoes in front of a book
I always prefer eating in the company of others, but a book is a good second choice

My aunt cooked those ribs and potatoes. I'm finally getting close to finishing all the food she gave me!

Coffee Ice Cream Taste Test

February 9, 2019 11:28 AM

Remember how I said most of my impulse purchases are seafood? Well the rest of them are ice cream. I'm not a huge dessert person, but I absolutely love ice cream, and I especially love coffee ice cream.

I love it so much that I get super angry at Giant Eagle for having 15 versions of vanilla and barely any coffee.

Turkey Hill Triple Vanilla ice cream
Vanilla Neapolitan?! Seriously?!

Now I'm on a mission to find the best coffee ice cream.

Four Chinese spoons sitting in a row, each with a scoop of a different brand of coffee ice cream, and note cards stating the brand
This post features Asian soup spoons.

We sampled four different brands: Edy's, Trader Joe's, Haagen-Dazs, and Graeter's. Here they are, ranked from worst to first.

4. Graeter's Vienna Coffee

Graeter's Vienna Coffee Closeup of spoon with Graeter's Vienna Coffee

I don't know why, but I had higher hopes for this brand. Out of the four scoops of ice cream, this was definitely the one with the least flavor. It was also incredibly air-y. My sister said it was more like foam than cream. As of right now at Giant Eagle, a pint costs $5.49 (on sale). I don't think I'll ever buy it again.

3. Edy's Slow Churned Coffee

Edy's Slow Churned Coffee Closeup of spoon with Edy's Slow Churned Coffee

This was the most mainstream of all the ice creams. It was also, by far, the sweetest. This is the brand of ice cream that I've usually gotten, but I wish their coffee had more of a coffee flavor. Good texture though. While I wouldn't go out of my way to get Edy's coffee, if I see a 1.5 quart for $3.50 (on sale), I'll still grab it.

2. Haagen-Dazs Coffee

Haagen-Dazs Coffee Closeup of spoon with Haagen-Dazs Coffee

I've always liked Haagen-Dazs, but rarely bought it because of the price. What I noticed about this scoop was that it had a more subtle flavor, less coffee and more toffee or caramel. It was $3.99 (on sale) for slightly less than a pint. Even though I thought it tasted better than the scoop of Edy's ice cream, I'd probably still buy Edy's over it because of the price.

1. Trader Joe's Coffee Bean Blast

Trader Joe's Coffee Bean Blast Closeup of spoon with Trader Joe's Coffee Bean Blast

The first time I tried Trader Joe's coffee ice cream, I was really surprised at how good it was. It is the most coffee-y coffee ice cream I've ever had, and the texture is amazing. Incredibly creamy. Compared to the other three brands, it absolutely stands out. I mean it even stands out in the picture because of how much darker it is. One quart is $3.99, and it's the only reason I ever go to Trader Joe's.

Taking a scoop out of the Trader Joe's ice cream

I know I ranked them and criticized them, but they're all still coffee ice cream so they're all still delicious. Maybe we'll try some more brands and have another taste test.

Ice cream tub pictures are taken directly from the ice cream manufacturer's websites, since we forgot to actually take pictures of the containers.

Filed under: ice cream taste test extras