Things of Your Day


The beer episode was really good. Also, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but in one of the recent episodes one of the food experts guesses which is more expensive and… gasp … gets the answer wrong!!!


That’s kind of a surprise, most of the epicurious vids I’ve seen, it’s like “Guess which is the expensive one out of this $800 a kilo White Stilton Gold and this can of no-name brand American spray cheese!” kind of comparisons. Sure, they’re interesting to watch as they give you all the details of the luxury product vs the cheap brand, but let’s be real, there’s zero guessing involved, most of them know what’s what from the moment they see what’s in front of them, and really, so would most laymen.


Saw a certain someone in the comments of the beer video.


I have opinions on the beer video but I’ll save them for another thread. Simply put, it’s really good and accurate cause Garrett Oliver rocks, but beer isn’t as complicated a topic for “cheap vs. expensive” versus other video topics.


Except I don’t drink beer, so it was 99% new to me. :slight_smile:


Oh, I didn’t know you don’t drink beer. Admittedly never thought about it, but still. And yeah, that’s why the videos are still interesting and worth watching - I might know about beer(though not remotely as much as that chap), but It’s still interesting to watch an expert dissect different attempts at something, especially something where most people won’t ever encounter a genuine expert, like cheeses or cured meats.


I want to make a version with juggling equipment. What makes it cheap or not it good for experts or not.


I want a guitar expert one so I can see them get them all wrong because the gear industry is fucking garbage.


I can do… computer expert, lol.

This video card says 1180 on it. This one says 1170. The 1180 is more expensive.


Sniffing the components. “And now for the taste test!”


RGB intensifies.


I would absolutely watch a video of Scott reviewing cheap vs expensive video cards if the only considered categories were smell and taste.

No kidding. Hey, do you want a Marshal tube amp? Great! Now instead of this absolutely functional, excellent sounding 2014 model, why don’t you buy this 2017-18 model which offers you exactly…nothing more! Zero change in sound and functionality! But it costs 300 dollars more because it’s new! And of course, the secondhand market isn’t that much better - hey, here’s this beat-to-fuck amp that’s been gigging since 1995, $600, down from $700 new. Until you’re the one trying to sell it, in which case you better discount that shit to three nickels and some pocket lint, or you’re gonna be trying to sell it unsuccessfully for the next eight months.


What about mouth-feel?


Even more than that. Here’s a comparison between the $2000-5000 Klon Centaur and the $60 EHX Soul Food.


One thing I really liked about most (with exceptions) of the experts on the show is everything they talk about uses objective measures. Like the guy looking at cured meat showing off how you may want to look for tiny holes where brine and liquid smoke could have been injected. That’s like objective, there’s a hole, there’s no ambiguity over it.

The beer guy, who I’ll preface with the fact that I loved and clearly knew his stuff and made me more interested in sours and dark lagers, did a thing I always see drink experts do (more prevalent with wine). Used non objective words to describe things.

Full? It tasted full? How does something that tastes like apples and is ‘full’ differ from something that tastes like apples and is not ‘full’. And before you (not you specifically) answer, would the next guy who described something as ‘full’ tasting agree? Depth? We’re talking about a drink, not a hole. Depth isn’t an objective measure of taste.

Now I was gonna harp on how he described some foams as rocky, which on it’s face doesn’t mean anything until you realize from context that rocky foam/head means the bubbles aren’t uniform in size some small some medium and some large.

Are the other words that don’t mean anything (depth, full, bright, etc.), like this where they actually mean something objective and there’s not enough context for me to figure it out? Or am I right in that lots of experts in drinks have listened to each other talk a bit too much and also maybe been hitting the marketing books .


I always understood bright to be used to describe acidic/sour/fruit/floral tastes, full to describe heavier cloying flavors like smoke or caramel or wood, and depth to describe the combination of flavors and how they interact on your palate. These are all of course subjective person to person but I think they are more of a general description of an overall taste profile than specific flavors.


From my experience doing tea tasting, describing culinary experiences is incredibly challenging without a mutually accepted jargon with associated reference points. I imagine tea is easier than beer, assuming one can inspect the leaves, because there’s more metadata. But knowing all the associated terminology took literal study and repeated experience – something hard to gain through watching videos. However, if you were sitting there (& drinking the beers) with the beer guy & he said something tasted full and something else tasted not-full, you would learned about “fullness” to at least some degree.


I’m not sure if you can answer this, but not having any experience with tea or beer tasting, after someone has become an “expert,” done the studying, had the experience, etc, would two tea or beer tasters more likely than not use the same terminology to describe whatever beverage they’re drinking?

I guess what I’m asking is whether the term “full” is an objective term to experts the way @Naoza was criticizing it in the post above? Because to non-experts, it doesn’t really seem objective at all.


I think it has to do with lineages, or in other words the cultures of knowledge sharing. I don’t know about beer, but with tea there’s definitely communities that have effectively defined various flavor profiles/experiences within their lineages. While it all depends on your actual tasting experience (temperature, water, air quality, sensory ability), who you learned from & how you learned to taste will shape the way you understand it. I imagine it’s a similar process in the sommelier training, where your taste & definitions are calibrated by an agreed on panel of experts. You’ll always get a range of opinions, but they probably map closely to their lineage.


I suspected this may be true. There may be something going on in the beverage that I as a layman don’t know to look for and without some actual instruction there’d be no way for me to understand. So I guess then that those terms aren’t really in the video for the laypeople, it’s for people who have already had some instruction, which is fine, I even like the idea that there’s a tiered knowledge system.


Full doesn’t have some literal objective meaning. It’s just the closest word we have to describe a particular feeling. That’s how it works. Think about how the word “full” feels to you. How does the word “empty” feel to you. That feeling is close to the feeling you will have if you drink full and empty beverages.