walleye pollack


Alaskan pollack, a variety of pollack from the north west Pacific off Alaska. Pollacks are members of the cod family and weigh around 1 kg (2 lb). They have rather grey, flaky flesh and are often salted and dried or pickled and are also commonly used for making imitation shellfish foods. The salted roes are prized in Japan. Pollacks are also known as pollocks. We ate walleye as one of multiple courses provided at the reunion of an extended family in Minnesota. To keep the large numbers of children occupied after the meal they devised an entertainment for them. This consisted of getting the children to organise a blind tasting of 20 different vanilla ice creams. Each of the diners was presented with a chart on which to mark a score for each ice cream. One of the girls carefully covered all the pots so that no manufacturer was identifiable. Various others provided us all with little paper cups with our initials on them and paper spoons. From this section of the game they learned "organisation". The first ice cream to be tasted elicited a "10" out of 10 from half the children. The second ice cream was universally considered to be "better" and the children all subsequently revised their marks. This taught them, in the most extraordinary way, to discriminate between flavours. One child revised all his marks every time he tasted an ice cream - all 20! When we had all tasted all the ice creams the children gathered up all the papers and took them off to the computer. One of them entered all the scores into an Excel spreadsheet - this was a most remarkable family - and came back announcing that the winner, in terms of flavour, was Haagen Das. Low on the list was a product called Rice Cream. What was more extraordinary is that the children then started discussing amongst themselves which was the best "value" and asked for the prices. Because one of them observed that you paid less per unit if you bought large quantities of ice cream they introduced a correction factor depending on whether the ice cream was purchased in a pint or a quart container.

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