One of the classes that I am taking this semester is called Principle of Foods. It happens to be a required class in the DPD Program; that's Didactic Programs in Dietetics. Remember how I said I wanted to become a registered dietitian? Well, I need to complete the program.
Anyway, fortunately, I'm able to take it at Orange Coast College. Transferable classes are great; I highly recommend taking classes at a community college if you can because it's so much more affordable. Well, we had to run a pudding experiment at home: compare and contrast four different puddings. The whole point of this was to learn about starches. The four puddings were 1) a homemade vanilla pudding, 2) instant vanilla pudding, 3) cook and serve vanilla pudding, and 4) vanilla pudding in a cup. The starches encountered were cornstarch, modified cornstarch, and modified tapioca starch, I believe.
Let me tell you something--I am not a fan of pudding. I'm not sure why but I never have been. I do not care for the bland and hollow flavors; I did not grow up eating those Snack Packs of pudding. We were not Jell-O people. However, I did the experiment and you know what I thought about? "Man, this sure is using a lot of my milk up!"
|The four that were to be compared.|
|Homemade pudding is simply cornstarch, sugar, milk, a touch of salt, and vanilla extract.|
|Always add any flavorings (in this case, vanilla extract) after it has thickened and the heat is turned off. That way, the flavor doesn't cook out. Pudding #1? Done.|
|Instant is easy-peasy: simply add milk and beat the hell out of it; I used a hand mixer.|
|About seven minutes later, it was done. Pudding #2, done.|
|Again, all you do is add milk and then stir it a lot, get it to boil, and you're done.|
After all the puddings were made, I poured them into bowls and set them into the refrigerator to chill. I even placed the Snack Pack in the fridge so that it would be the same temperature as the others when I did the sensory evaluation. In hindsight, I probably should have chilled the puddings and then let them all come back to room temperature because I think the texture right out of the refrigerator was a little off. Whoopsy.
|Clockwise from the top: the super-white one is the homemade pudding, then there's the Snack Pack pudding, then the cook & serve pudding, and finally at 9 o' clock is the instant pudding.|
So, a proper tasting technique is to use clean spoons to remove each of the puddings and either place them on a clean surface (like above) or drop them into your own tasting spoon. In this case, I used my own tasting spoon to taste these four samples on the plate. That way, you don't contaminate the whole bowl in case others are tasting, too. Well, it was only me, anyway, but I had another purpose for the puddings after all was said and done since SEVEN CUPS OF MILK WENT INTO ALL OF THIS! You can read about what yummy dish I created with these puddings here. As for my evaluation? I wrote all my opinions in that lab manual that you see in the very top photo. However, again, ugh, major dislike for pudding :-( Hope you enjoyed this peek into my school life!