My wife and I are big fans of food-related television programs, especially competitive cooking shows. There is one program in particular we watch whenever possible. It’s a show in which four accomplished chefs face off with each other in a limited time period to prepare meals from a mystery basket of foods. A panel of three celebrity chefs critiques each course of the three-part meal. At the end of each course the panel votes off (“chops”) one chef from the competition until only one remains. That person is awarded a substantial cash prize and earns the title “champion.” We’ve learned a lot about unique ingredients and cooking techniques from watching this show, and really enjoy the vivid descriptions of the chef-prepared meals and flavors that the host and judges experience. But there’s one big difference between the judges’ experience and ours. They can taste the prepared food. We can’t.

There’s nothing like actually tasting what we see. Most chefs will tell you we eat first with our eyes. But the experience would be less than satisfying if it ended there. We must also taste and experience the goodness of the food we eat.

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