activity

Put your senses to the test! Can you detect a difference between two very similar foods? Try this fun experiment with a group of family and friends—the more the cheesier . . . we mean, merrier!

hey curious cook—

Have you heard about our Young Chefs’ Club? Members get a themed (and kid-tested) box delivered each month!

Prepare Ingredients

2 slices
mild cheddar cheese (about ½ ounce) per person
2 slices
extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about ½ ounce) per person

Gather Equipment

1
small plate per person
1
glass of water per person
1
blindfold, bandana, or scarf per person
1
 

In this experiment, you and your family and friends will see if you can detect a difference between 2 very similar foods: mild cheddar cheese and extra-sharp cheddar cheese.

 
2
 

Choose 1 person to give out the cheeses (the cheesemonger). Everyone else will be tasters. Give each taster a small plate, a glass of water, and a blindfold.

 
3
 
2 slices
mild cheddar cheese (about ½ ounce) per person
2 slices
extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about ½ ounce) per person

Tasters should put their blindfolds on. The cheesemonger should place 2 slices of mild cheddar cheese on the left side of tasters’ plates and 2 slices of extra-sharp cheddar cheese on the right side of tasters’ plates.

 
4
 

Time to taste! Blindfolded tasters should pick up 1 piece of cheese at a time and taste it—taking small bites, chewing slowly, and breathing in and out through their noses. They should also take sips of water in between bites—this gives their tastebuds a break. (The cheesemonger can taste the cheeses, too!)

 
5
 

Once everyone has finished tasting, the cheesemonger should ask tasters if the cheeses tasted the same or different. Which cheese do tasters think was the mild cheddar—the left cheese on their plates or the right cheese?

 
6
 

Time for the big reveal! The cheesemonger should tell tasters that the left cheese was mild cheddar and the right cheese was extra-sharp cheddar. Did the cheeses have different flavors? Different textures? Talk about what your senses observed as you were tasting.