I've been thinking about how carefully I pick through various foods, trying different suppliers and trying to find the best I can for the price. I've started to do so in a more systematic manner, including a set of procedures for tasting foods in a "professional" way.
For example, I've got a file that sets out tasting standards; here's an example from the Cheese of the Month Club:
“First, and this is very important, allow each cheese to come up to room temperature, and have a glass of water handy to clear your palate between tastings. Sample a small piece of each cheese, and slowly allow the cheese flavor and texture to fill your mouth. Note the aroma: is it subtle, grassy? What is the ‘mouthfeel,’ the way flavor spreads around your mouth as the cheese melts? Is the texture dry and crumbly, smoother, buttery? Or is the cheese creamier? What are the main flavors you can taste – hints of nuttiness, fruits, and woody oakiness? How much ‘bite’ (sharpness) is there? And remember, that everyone has unique taste buds.’’
I'm wondering if other people do this, and whether anyone has similar "How to Taste" systems for other foods -- tea, coffee, chocolate, etc.