Be a Food Connoisseur

2009 was the first time I went on a wine tasting tour.

My hubby and I visited Niagara-on-the-Lake, which is a region in Ontario that is well-known for its many wineries and delicious wines. It’s a also a beautiful area and very friendly. If you’re ever Ontario, it’s worth it to visit.

We decided to bring our bikes and rode around to a few different vineyards. It was a lot of fun!

If you decide to do this, make sure you don’t drink too much wine, or the ride might get a little wobbly. Just ask my hubby. 🙂

At the Reif Estate winery, our sommelier was a young guy named Alberto, who looked about 17!

But he was very knowledgeable about the wines and taught us a lot.

He had us stick our noses right into the wine glass and take a big whiff. He showed us how to swirl the wine in the glass and notice the ‘legs’ of the wine.

A wine has good legs if it is very thick and drips slowly down the sides of the glass.

He laid out a white napkin and had us observe the different shades of red produced by the different wines.

Then, he told us to take a big sip and swirl the wine around our mouths, much like you’d use mouthwash.

He asked us what we tasted then asked if we noticed certain subtle flavours such as cinnamon and cherry.

I’d always thought the flavours described on wine bottles were kinda weird. But after this experience, Alberto taught us a whole new way to appreciate wine.

Although we didn’t notice all of the flavours he was talking about, we’ve been practicing ever since and you really do start to notice certain flavours and characteristics.

Since, my hubby and I have taken this whole idea of wine appreciation and applied it to food. Not every time we eat, but definitely when we’re trying new foods or restaurants.

Food appreciation is not something most people are taught. Most people including myself are taught to eat and finish everything on your plate! In the past I’d usually either like or not like a food. Or something would be too sweet or not salty enough.

Now, it’s a whole new experience and appreciation.

So the next time you eat one of the Dessert Angel recipes, be a “food connoisseur”:

Smell it first. Describe what smells you can smell.

Look at the colour and texture.

Take a bite and chew slowly and pick out the subtle flavours. Find the hints of sweetness, no matter how slight. Describe the different tastes. Try to notice each and every ingredient used in the recipe. Rate the ‘crunch’ or ‘smooth’ factor on a scale of 1-10.

It’s just like wine lovers do when tasting wines, but we’re going to do it with food!

Do these things and they’ll heighten your appreciation for food and in the process, help you re-train your taste buds and make them more sophisticated.

My hubby (aka “The Bottomless Pit”) and I often do this when we eat. It makes for interesting conversation and makes something we’re going to be doing for the rest of our lives more fun!

Give it a try – you don’t have to do it all the time, but I guarantee that it will give you a new appreciation for all the foods you do try it with and you might even start loving foods you never thought you would love.

And after you try it, let me know how it went in the Comments section below!

– Helen


Leave A Reply (14 comments so far)

  1. Rose
    9 years ago

    Hi Helen

    I’ve always been a “gobble it up fast” eater, and never really had the chance to taste the food before it went streaming down my throat, (without hitting the sides). lol

    I’m not overweight, but I am trying to eat healthy, and this advice is excellent. I have found that eating much more slowly is so much more enjoyable. It gives me time to actually taste the ingredients, feel the texture and truly appreciate the mouthfuls.

    By the way, I purchased your recipe book, (love it), and am working my way through making the treats.

    I have always loved food, and I think about it 24/7 (truly I do). After breakfast, I’m thinking about lunch, after lunch, I’m already fantasizing about dinner, and the snacks in between? They have my mind absolutely racing. haha. Well, just wanted to thank you for wonderful advice and tips.



    The Dessert Angel Reply:

    Thanks for the feedback Rose. I know what you mean, food is great. 🙂

    But definitely even better when you do take the time to really appreciate it!


  2. Don
    8 years ago

    Hi Helen, I will be sure to pay more attention to all the flavors from now on. I bought the necessary ingredents for the Fat Burning Brownings. The main ingredent I did not find was pure stevia. I bought the blend. We will make the brownings in the next day or two. We look forward to hearing from you.

    Have a great day God Bless
    Don & Georgie


  3. Moon
    8 years ago

    THAT is an excellent idea. I don’t even think I need to write it down to remember it. Too bad it didn’t come a week ago. A friend invited me to her place for supper prior to our attending a seminar. Since we did not have a lot of time, she decided upon a simple dish of rice and chili. However, her chili is different from the regular fare. It contains cut up left-over roast beef, rough cut carrots, green beans, chick peas, kidney beans, tomatoes diced and sauced, corn, and spices. This would have been a good exercise from two points of view. I could have worked on discerning which particular spices she had used to flavour the mixture, assuredly. However, since all digestion begins in the mouth, this slow, thoughtful processing of the mixture – both mentally and physically – would have lent itself to better digestion because of the duration of the chewing and the amount of grinding which would have released more nutrients sooner into the body. Hmmm! I think I will have to come up with a different kind of chili, more, say, Indian subcontinent in taste, and take it to her place for just such a taste test experiment. It is my contention that humans do need to “ruminate” more on their food – as in to imitate to whatever degree we can the eating habits of the four-legged ruminants on our planet. Thank you for the idea which has helped me put this all together.

    And, Gandhi, wherever you are now, suck it up! You were/are good and great – but so are spices.


  4. JoEllen Arbsland
    8 years ago

    Hello Helen,

    My husband and I loved the brownies the smell, taste, moistness and he kept waiting for the crunch of pecans I was going to add. I intend to make these for some of my friends who are trying to lose weight – which I’m not. I try to eat healthy all the time and think your recipes will help a lot
    as I have a lot of allergies and it seems as if soy and some form of corn are in all store bought goodies. I love to bake and to cook. We savor each bite which makes it nice to try new things all the time. I can hardly wait to make the macaroons and the bars.

    JoEllen and Weldon


  5. Joyce Cuirrent
    8 years ago

    I was leary of getting your e-books because I don’t know how to download but your instructions were so easy that successfully I did it. I don’t have all the ingrediants yet since I have not been eating healty, but when I do ,I will savor every bite . Joyce I


  6. Cynthia Kennicutt
    8 years ago

    Hello Helen,

    I bought the Dessert Angel Cookbook for the brownie recipe. I have not made them yet, but after reading this article, I am very excited to get home and try them. I am 53 years old and have made my way through several vineyards, and have learned the art of wine tasting. I have also learned to taste foods and break them down to pick up most the ingredients in a dish. However, I have not ever thought to apply the same techniques as one would with wine tasting. My mother always told me to learn something new every day. Thank you for teaching me a wonderful way to wake up the senses at the dinner table. Many people rush through a meal, self included, without appreciating the flavors that are there to be enjoyed. You have given me a way to inspire dinner conversation, and to heighten my own level of appreciation for the meals that have been prepared for me.

    I don’t usually tap. The tips in newsletters, but I am so glad that I did. I look forward to all your tips in the future.



  7. Jeanette Hammond
    8 years ago

    I grew up in a house where you finished what was on your plate and you ate it while it was hot. Did I taste the food, not really but some of it was good. We never had dessert but there was always snacks in the house. I am going to start to slow down and smell the food from now on. Thanks so much.


  8. Susan Napthine
    7 years ago

    Hi Helen
    That is a very interesting Idea I will try and give it a go. I do find it so easy when hungry to practically inhale the food and be suprised its all gone!!

    I’ve not tried any recipies yet as have not finnished the required reading. Will keep you posted


  9. Judy Picknell
    7 years ago

    Yes, I had all the ingredients for the cake and love cake so thought I would try it. Could NOT think ever that Black Beans would be a cake foundation. But shut my eyes and forged ahead. I like black beans but in bean salad, stews, etc. ok so I went to the hen house and got fresh range free eggs, grabed a jar of last falls honey we harvested, cooked some black beans from the garden, added the rest of the ingredients and popped into the oven. Couldn’t wait for it to cool and I do love warm cake. Tryed it and truely went to heaven. It was delicious. Next time I will go to town and get some avacados for the frosting. That sounds wonderful too. We don’t have almonds and they are so high to purchase. Have you experimented with pecans or walnuts as flour? We have those trees in this area and now you have me thinking on alternate stuff for flour might give them a try. I have a grain grinder that I use to fresh grind our wheat for flour. so guess it would work for nuts. Thanks for new ideas.!!!


  10. pastor David
    7 years ago

    My wife Véronique & I live in the centre of France, which is also a big wine growing area. We went with friends recently to taste some red wines. It is a good suggestion to look for the flavours in your desserts. It is Véronique who prepares them, but I do eat them slowly with relish. I’m keeping my eye though on the scales to make sure they are really not adding to my steady weight. How many we can eat per day is the big question because they taste so good.
    We notice that you are Chinese, one of our website translators in Beiging looks very similar to you. I will send her the link of your excellent work.


  11. Judith Fox
    7 years ago

    I tried the Belly-Busting Brownies. I loved them! I tried to do as you asked and eat slowly and savor. They are so good, it wasn’t easy but I could taste the flavors better. Thank you so much for all the yummy-looking recipes! I don’t feel deprived at all.


  12. Margaret
    7 years ago

    Hi Helen,

    Last night I ordered the ingredients I’ll need from Vita Cost. They are the BEST supplier of most needs. So by end of week I intend to make the Brownies first.

    I have been dismayed at the portions your recipes make. It seems they all could be doubled easier than using the minute amounts of ingredients called for PLUS getting so few servings. I like to cook
    BIG when I cook and always have left overs for a few days or plenty for guests.

    I’ve been surprised that I haven’t seen any other comments about the very small size of every recipe.

    (PS someone said you’re Chinese. I can’t see where they get that at all. You’re not Chinese are you?

    I hope you reply to the quantity issue.
    Thank you.
    I’m anxious to make the Brownies but plan to double the recipe. I hope that’s okay…


  13. Bev
    6 years ago

    Hi Helen,
    I took a wine tasting course many years ago and learned about really tasting it, not just drinking it. Having said that, it should be the focus of everything we put in our mouths from apples to coffee to chocolate to olive oil, etc. Different types of apples, coffees from different countries and different roasting processes, chocolates that have varying amounts of chocolate liqueur and sugar, as well as olives from different regions all have dramatically different tastes and textures and we miss so much when we eat quickly and don’t actually focus on the taste. The other benefit of tasting our food is that we’re supposed to be chewing each mouthful completely (until it’s pureed basically) to ensure we digest our food as much as possible and absorb the nutrients. After all, we feed ourselves for health, not just for pleasure!