The Great Pepper Taste Test…

Top Chef, Chopped, Guy’s Grocery Games, Spring Baking Championship, Sugar Rush, The Great British Bake-Off
…if it’s a food competition program, I’ve probably watched it.  And, chances are good that I’ve convinced my daughter or husband (or both) to watch with me.  I don’t have to twist Emma’s arm, she likes most of the cooking shows.  Sean, however, is much more discerning, and will only watch certain ones.

The program we all watch faithfully is Top Chef.  Thanks to quarantine and Hulu, we’ve seen all episodes of all seasons.  One our favorite challenges on Top Chef is when the contestants have to identify ingredients while blindfolded. Our Great Pepper Taste Test (GPTT) was loosely based on a Top Chef challenge. 

I believe it all started with a family conversation about bell peppers.  After that, Emma posted an Instagram poll to see what color bell pepper people prefer. Her unscientific results showed red as the clear winner, and green as the clear loser.  That poll and its results sparked yet another family conversation about bell peppers.  We wondered if you can really taste much difference among all colors of peppers.  The GPTT was born!

To satisfy our curiosity, we did a blindfolded taste test of four colors of bell peppers.  What we found was probably not news to any of us, but interesting.  We all identified green correctly.  We found the flavor was intense, and two of us described it as “grassy.”  The red, orange and yellow peppers proved to be more difficult for some of us to distinguish.  Of course, Emma’s young, but developed palate helped her identify all colors correctly. We found that the red, orange and yellow all tasted very similar, but had varying levels of flavor intensity. The yellow and orange tasted \”fruitier\” than the red pepper.  I could see using the orange and yellow interchangeably in dishes because to me the difference was negligible.  I think the real reason to use the yellow and orange peppers in recipes is their fantastic color.  They look great in salsas, stir fries and salads.  

Speaking of salsa, here is a delicious recipe from Weight Watchers.  Make it now while nectarines are still in season!

Nectarine – Bell Pepper Salsa

From: Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook, 2011

Serves 6

3 small nectarines, pitted and diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon lime juice

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

Combine all ingredients in small bowl.

Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Use within one day.

The Great part about the GPTT was the fun.  We really enjoyed it, and will certainly do more family taste tests in the future.  The tastiest part of the GPTT was the dinner–fajitas we made with all four colors of bell peppers. 

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