It is no shock to anyone that, as a food startup, testing and tasting flavors is an unavoidably important step. No surprises, it has also been my favorite step. It's great; I get to eat 10 flavors of ice cream in one sitting and call it work. Tough life.
A funny thing happened though: just as many restaurant chefs get immune to certain flavors (salt of course being the most common), I was becoming immune to certain elements of my ice cream. Luckily, I had not fallen into the restaurant chef's trap of over-salting everything (in the case of ice creams this would be particularly disgusting), however I has no longer phased by the intensity of the flavors or their richness, having tried them each so many times. I found that each time that I went to make the ginger berry or strawberry basil I wanted more and more flavor, always adding more ginger and basil respectively, until, unbenounced to me, they were way too strong, the flavors all but slapping you in the face when you ate them.
Which is why you need tasters: friends or family selfless enough to dedicate themselves to the grueling task of eating some of your ice cream every once in a while and telling you what they think. A fresh perspective is worth so much when developing you own food product (or any product for that matter).
It is surprisingly easy to fall so in love with your own creation that you brush off any critique that you don't agree with, and choose to only hear the positive feedback. I have certainly struggled with this. I have worked really hard on developing my flavors, and when someone says that they don't like one, my gut reaction is to say "well what do you know?" I am protective of my work, however when I stop and listen to what they actually have to say, it is when I have learned the most.
My Take Away: Throw your pride away and listen to your friends. They are the public, and that's where your consumer is. In all fairness, they may not be your target market, but they will be able to tell you what tastes good when you are no longer able to be impartial.
About This Blog
Starting a food business has been exciting, rewarding, stressful, terrifying, and without a doubt the most fun I have ever had. I write here to share with you my struggles and successes in this journey.
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