The Ultimate Kitchen Throwdown

OK, you guys thought the DALS pasta sauce taste test was fun? Wait til you see what the BA team is up to. I’ve been working with their editors and test kitchen staff on the road test of all road tests. Bon Appetit is spending the next few months testing and tasting 50 of the pantry staples you use every day — like olive oil, salt, cocoa, canned tomatoes, yogurt, agave, mustard — to determine which ones meet the “BA Seal of Approval” criteria. (In other words, which ones will make your day-to-day cooking the best it can be.) You’ll be hearing more about this as the year goes on — winners will not be announced until the December 2012 issue — but I thought you’d like to get a sneak peak of the taste-testing action. That’s me on the left (feeling all legit in my official apron) with Alison Roman (aka “The Baking Assassin”) burning our taste buds on hot sauces. Woo boy. Note to self: Next time, try hot sauce last.

This was Round 1, where we tested savory staples like soy sauce, grapeseed oil, etc. Round 2 (chocolate baked into brownies, butter baked into shortbread) was sa-weet. Head over to BonApp for more photos, details, and info.  PS: For more on feeding a family, check out the complete archive of “The Providers,” the column Andy and I write for BA.

Photos by Matt Duckor.

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Tom H.

That’s a great idea – I really like the idea of experts doing the leg work to identify the best in show of our key ingredients. Curious to see the hot sauce results. I’m a desert island Tabasco type, as it goes with everything and is really just a flavor emulsifier. Good luck!


Erinn – Yes, we still are. It’s six times a year so we didn’t write a July or August column, but we’ll be in September and October. Thanks for reading.