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sensation occasion

gershgoods hosts an exclusive sensory evaluation event

Russell Smith teaches at sensory evaluation event 2013tasting 'guru' russell smith leads an exciting voyage of food and self-discovery

How good are your tastebuds? We at gershgoods know one way to find out. We want our staff to understand as much as possible about what makes food good and how to discern quality, and we are proud to share that knowledge with select customers, producers and friends.


Sensory evaluation is a scientific discipline which analyses and measures human responses to the composition of food and drink, e.g. appearance, touch, odour, texture, temperature and taste... The precise methods, chosen tests and sensory language used, all help students to understand the process and develop their sensory vocabulary.

sensory evaluation blindfold tasting exerciseSaturday 11 May saw a special ‘sensory evaluation’ event, where gershgoods staff joined some of their artisan food producing suppliers and proud retailers, to test their taste buds and expand their understanding of complex and fascinating foodstuffs: cheese, coffee, chocolate and beer.

Led by international food show judge and expert Russell Smith, participants were taken through a series of exercises to demonstrate their own levels of sensitivity to the five basic tastes – sweet, salt, sour, bitter and ‘umami’ (savoury) – and how these responses affect appreciation of a range of cheeses, including the excellent gershgoods-distributed product Meyer Gouda.

After lunch, gershgoods’ own coffee and tea supremo Richard Mason taught participants a thing or two about identifying flavour profiles in coffee with a ‘cupping’ session using freshly ground beans prepared to three different ‘roast degrees’ by Toby’s Estate.

gershgoods sensory evaluation in sessionFinally, Craig McKenzie from ‘exquisite’ hot chocolate makers Grounded Pleasures rounded off the day by sharing his unparalleled appreciation of two of the world’s most pleasurable foodstuffs: chocolate and beer! Craig’s presentation highlighted little-known regional variations in cocoa, and the fascinating way that they can interact with a range of local and imported lagers, porter and stout.

Coinciding with his SMH-reviewed exhibition at Dominik Mersch Gallery in Sydney, local artist Locust Jones provided some added visual stimulus, with his original work ‘Big, Bad World’ – an intriguing, provocative and vibrantly painted globe – suspended from the ceiling at the heart of the warehouse space which housed the event.

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