If your macadamia nut cookie didn’t win best dessert at the Manatee County Fair, I’m sorry.
I could’ve eaten a bagful.
If your chocolate mousse cake didn’t get the purple rosette, I don’t understand.
I loved it.
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If your blackberry-and-elderberry jam didn’t win anything, I’m outraged.
I gave it 5’s across the board for appearance, texture and taste.
Truth is, I wrote down a lot of 5’s on the scorecards while judging desserts for the fair’s culinary arts and food category last Saturday.
Me, a judge?
OK, maybe I wasn’t one of the “most qualified judges available” as stated in the official rules.
But I know what I like.
I liked everything, whether it was made by a high school culinary student or somebody’s grandmother in Parrish.
The raw apple cake.
The chocolate peanut butter bar.
The pumpkin cream cheese truffles.
The two judges I sat with, Eva Curry and Vivian Elder, were much more discerning.
They’d take a small bite of the pumpkin chocolate spice cookie, the red velvet cake or toffee bar, put the remainder aside, then write down their scores.
I ate it all.
Including the leftovers they’d offer me.
Scoring was relatively simple.
One or two meant you disliked something extremely or moderately.
I never went there.
Three meant you neither liked nor disliked something.
Four or five, you liked it moderately or extremely.
I gave out a lot of those.
I’m easy to please.
Not so my two colleagues, who have forgotten more about making desserts than I will ever possibly know.
We didn’t always get the same entrees and there was one dessert that made them say, “What is that?”
Uh, oh. Not a good sign.
Then there was another.
“What’s that green stuff?” they said, noting the pie slice’s funky presentation.
Then Eva slid it my way.
“It’s delicious. Want to try it?”
I did. It was good.
So good I ate the whole thing. Bad boy.
I hope it won something and makes someone happy. After more than a dozen desserts, I know I was happy.
Can you say sugar high?
Mannix About Manatee, by columnist Vin Mannix, is about people and issues in Manatee Count. Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.