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I found myself making a couple of disparate-tasting dishes. One was a salad dressing with blue cheeses and garlic, and another was meat flavored with thyme and rosemary.

I tried to taste both while cooking, but as I sit here and write this, all I can taste is the salad dressing.

I'm guessing this might be covered in some formal cooking education: how do you clear your palate when cooking multiple dishes, each with a strong and powerful flavor? I am asking this from the point of view of the chef, not the diner.

I would assume that this could become problematic as the size of the kitchen gets larger, and the number of strongly-flavored dishes would become more prevalent.

  • Sounds like the problem was that only one of them had a strong/loud flavor. Would you take "eat them separately" as an answer, or are you asking about specifically how to serve them together? – Cascabel Jul 28 '15 at 1:17
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My first thought is to tie them together or plan them in order to closest ingredients that might lend flavor to the next.

On another note, here is an article at About.Com written by By Rebecca Franklin a French Food Expert: http://frenchfood.about.com/od/explorefrenchfood/a/palatecleanser.htm

Traditional palate cleansers:

  • Apple and Calvados Sorbet
  • Lemon Sorbet
  • Lime Sorbet
  • Mint Sorbet

Unorthodox palate cleansers:

  • Sparkling water, with or without a twist of citrus
  • Lightly brewed green, black, or mint tea, with minimal sweetener
  • Celery sticks or fresh tart apples
  • A sprig of parsley Flat water with a twist of citrus

Here is, Fig & Brie “Bites” found here: http://entertainingiseasy.com/fig-brie-bites/

I would add fresh mint leaves and ice to a glass of water or ice cubes with mint leaves and put them into sparkling water or citrus in sparkling water. I'd try mint or ginger tea, a creamy cheese or port wine cheese on table water crackers, or even something creamy like shrimp scampi might be helpful as well.

Please let us know what you choose :)

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    For sweet things, a typical cleanser is bread cubes or crackers (when doing taste testings, etc.) – Joe Jul 28 '15 at 10:20
  • Thank you. Apologies that my question was not fully articulated when you answered; I am looking for ways for chefs to keep their palates clean while working. Just wanted to be sure you saw the edit. – Jason P Sallinger Jul 28 '15 at 16:22
  • I understand that one of the purposes of gari (picked ginger served with sushi) is to cleanse the palate between different types of sushi, so that could be another option. – BenM Aug 13 '15 at 1:47
  • I like both of these answers. This one especially for the sourcing and the enumeration of cleansers themselves. – Jason P Sallinger Sep 27 '15 at 15:37
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Unless you have to serve them close together then one of the best palate cleansers is simply time plus a glass of lemon water.

If you want to serve close together then some sort of palate cleanser is not a bad idea. There are many traditional palate cleansers which have already been covered very well, if you want something different then try serving a small, strong cocktail like a gimlet or a lemon drop. It doesn't have to be alcoholic, although a bit of kick won't hurt - just keep it reasonable so your guests don't get sloshed. Of course you could just give them a piece of lemon to suck on too.

Also keep in mind that the palate isn't just the tongue, your nose is at least as important as your tongue when tasting food - try pinching your nose while eating and you'll see what I mean. The upshot is that strong smells help clean the palate as well as strong tastes, try giving them some ground coffee to smell, that's what many wine tasters do in between tastes.

  • Thank you. Apologies that my question was not fully articulated when you answered; I am looking for ways for chefs to keep their palates clean while working. Just wanted to be sure you saw the edit. – Jason P Sallinger Jul 28 '15 at 16:23
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    I see what you are looking for. I tend to use a glass of wine personally – GdD Jul 28 '15 at 16:25
  • Ha. Very nice. I do the same. Unfortunately, when I am cooking all day on the weekends, it turns into a bottle. – Jason P Sallinger Jul 28 '15 at 17:00
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    I'd say have a glass of cranberry juice or a slice of lemon handy then. – GdD Jul 29 '15 at 7:55
  • I like both of these answers. This one especially for the tip on pinching the nose. – Jason P Sallinger Sep 27 '15 at 15:37

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