“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” - Albert Einstein

Thursday, February 7, 2013

When Did We Become Foodies?

We went out to La Bodega to celebrate Brenda's birthday.  La Bodega is a tapas bar in Kansas City.  Brenda read several reviews that gave them five stars.  We were expecting great food.  We got good food.

After several different plates came we started talking about what was lacking.  Our breakdown of the mushrooms in white wine and garlic is a good example of how we judged the food.  There was a stone-ground mustard in the sauce as well as white wine and not much garlic.  We tasted an earthy flavor overall from the mushrooms.  The mushrooms had been cooked in the sauce and had given their flavor to the sauce more than the sauce giving flavor to the mushrooms. 

The problem, we decided was that the dish had a one-note flavor, and that flavor was the earthiness of the mushrooms.  So I asked Brenda what could have been done to make the flavor profile more complex.  "Saute the mushrooms first, in a little butter and garlic," she said.  "That will bring out more flavors from the mushrooms and then use the same sauce but give it a bit more garlic."

There was only one plate with a balanced depth of flavor.  It was goat cheese and a fig coulis (a sauce) spread on toasted bread.

As we were leaving I asked Brenda how we became food critics.  She said it's because we watch Food Network, and in particular we watch the chef competitions.  Brenda pays attention to what the judges say about the food they are presented.  These critiques have helped her learn how to develop depth of flavor in the food she cooks.  Now we're on the hunt for better restaurants.

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