My bread tastes..........corked!

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My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Tim York » Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:01 am

When I opened the bread bin this morning, out wafted the odour of wet cardboard which I associate with TCA; and later the same taste was present in my mouth.

What can a a coarse grain multi-cereal loaf have in common with a corked wine??
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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:30 am

Tim York wrote:What can a a coarse grain multi-cereal loaf have in common with a corked wine??


Mold? Or would you say "mould"?
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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby James Roscoe » Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:30 pm

I was in a friend's hot tub last night and when I got out I smelled like a corked bottle of wine. Yech! I associated it with mold as Robin said of the bread. There was nothing visibly wrong with the water, and I didn't smell it when I got in. I took a shower when I got home. It helped.
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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Hoke » Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:57 pm

I was doing some wine education seminars in Florida recently. Sadly we were at a hotel that provided some of the most execrable food imaginable. At our first dinner, with some stellar wines, one of my table companions commented drily, 'The water is corked."

The person next to him held up a fork with a single green bean on it and said, "And what's worse, they washed the food in the water. Now the green beans are corked."

It was an odd evening, with a reversal of fortune: all the wine was great, but the food was corked. :)
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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Thomas » Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:28 pm

Hoke wrote:I was doing some wine education seminars in Florida recently. Sadly we were at a hotel that provided some of the most execrable food imaginable. At our first dinner, with some stellar wines, one of my table companions commented drily, 'The water is corked."

The person next to him held up a fork with a single green bean on it and said, "And what's worse, they washed the food in the water. Now the green beans are corked."

It was an odd evening, with a reversal of fortune: all the wine was great, but the food was corked. :)


Think about it: where would you find more chlorine--the catalyst--than in a hotel's water system???

Bet that hot tub, James, was chlorinated.

As for the bread, why is anyone eating chlorinated bread? ;)
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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby MtBakerDave » Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:44 pm

I often taste very little except something that reminds me of corked wine in those "baby carrots." I never get that on real carrots that I peel myself though. I've often wondered if something about the industrial peeling process that infects them with TCA. I guess I should mention that I'm really sensitive to TCA - I'm always the first in a group to spot a mildly corked wine.

Oh, yes, and 'baby carrots" also usually cost around twice as much as the real thing. Between the lack of flavor and the cost, are they worth it? How long does it actually take to prep a carrot?

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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Tim York » Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:12 pm

Re: corked bread

On reflection, two theories-

1. I bought this loaf at a local delicatessen but it looks like one of the products of our nearest artisan baker. Now this bakery has been closed for annual holidays for more than a week, so this "fresh" loaf has almost certainly been frozen and unfrozen with possibly odd consequences.

2. Water has almost certainly been used in the recipe for this loaf and our local water is subject to occasional chlorine surges. This loaf may have been made during one of these.

Whatever the reason, we will wash out the bread bin to forestall any possible mould contamination on future loaves.
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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Oliver McCrum » Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:21 pm

One of the 'corked' chemical taints, I think guaiacol, is a common problem in municipal water systems. I was staying in the town of Napa for a few days once, and the water was clearly 'corked.'

With 'baby' carrots and many of the potatoes I think they must be washed in chlorinated water, which then transforms into TCA. I find many commercial potatoes inedible.
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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:50 am

Oliver McCrum wrote:One of the 'corked' chemical taints, I think guaiacol, is a common problem in municipal water systems. I was staying in the town of Napa for a few days once, and the water was clearly 'corked.'

With 'baby' carrots and many of the potatoes I think they must be washed in chlorinated water, which then transforms into TCA. I find many commercial potatoes inedible.


Yes, quite a few municipal water supplies smell and taste corked to me, but I am quite sensitive to cork taint. It could be guiacol, or it could be some random organic chlorination products in the water. FWIW, I find that the smell of cork taint is in the same family of obnoxious smells as mildew and patchouli oil. I also find that I can usually smell mildew before anyone else. I have some structural theories about what the various molecules resposnsible for these smells have in common, but I wont' bore y'all with a description.

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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Thomas » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:55 am

Mark Lipton wrote:
Oliver McCrum wrote:One of the 'corked' chemical taints, I think guaiacol, is a common problem in municipal water systems. I was staying in the town of Napa for a few days once, and the water was clearly 'corked.'

With 'baby' carrots and many of the potatoes I think they must be washed in chlorinated water, which then transforms into TCA. I find many commercial potatoes inedible.


Yes, quite a few municipal water supplies smell and taste corked to me, but I am quite sensitive to cork taint. It could be guiacol, or it could be some random organic chlorination products in the water. FWIW, I find that the smell of cork taint is in the same family of obnoxious smells as mildew and patchouli oil. I also find that I can usually smell mildew before anyone else. I have some structural theories about what the various molecules resposnsible for these smells have in common, but I wont' bore y'all with a description.

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Mark,

You would have loved watching me in a supermarket recently explaining that their plastic bags were mildewed. I was the only one out of who knows how many customers passing through that ever brought up the matter and then the manager sniffs and says, "you know, I think you are right."

I seem quite sensitive to the mildew--TCA, whatever smells.
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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:24 am

Thomas wrote:
Mark,

You would have loved watching me in a supermarket recently explaining that their plastic bags were mildewed. I was the only one out of who knows how many customers passing through that ever brought up the matter and then the manager sniffs and says, "you know, I think you are right."

I seem quite sensitive to the mildew--TCA, whatever smells.


I'm surprised that you got that, as I'd expect that those plastic bags are treated with some sort of fungicide to prevent mildew. Live and learn... Your conversation reminds me of the oh-so-tiresome comment to a pourer (usually a distributor rep) at a large-scale tasting that their wine is corked, usually followed by: a) confusion or b) dismissal. It's the rare person who takes such complaints seriously and has the good sense (or training) to evaluate the problem for themselves.

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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Hoke » Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:33 pm

:)

Couple of years ago I was in a restaurant at the Ferry Plaza Builiding and ordered a glass of a very reputable brand of Soave. It was horribly tainted; really, really rank with TCA. My wfie could smell it all the way across the table.

I told the waiter. He took the glass and hustled away...but I noticed he dumped the glass at the outside wait station before he went inside to the bar. Shortly afterwards he came back out and casually informed me, "Sir, the bartender said the bottle's not corked. It's just supposed to taste that way."

To his credit (although it doesn't even start to cover the debt :) ) he then hastened to add I could have another glass of whatever I liked from the list at no charge. So I ordered something else. He blushed and said they were out of that one.

Had to drink a Chardonnay instead.
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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Thomas » Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:41 pm

At a consumer tasting of Italian wines in New York City I got me a TCA tainted wine in my glass. I mentioned it to the distributor rep who was pouring and he replied, "You don't understand Italian wine. That's why we have these tastings."
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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:03 pm

Thomas wrote:At a consumer tasting of Italian wines in New York City I got me a TCA tainted wine in my glass. I mentioned it to the distributor rep who was pouring and he replied, "You don't understand Italian wine. That's why we have these tastings."


Same thing happened to me at the last large-scale tasting I attended. They were pouring a recent vintage of Gaja Barbaresco. As soon as I got my glass, I knew that it was tainted. I sniffed and handed it back to the pourer, saying that he should try it because IMO it was corked. He sniffs and hands me back the glass, saying "that's just the character of Nebbiolo you're getting." Bite me! As if I can't tell the difference between tar and TCA. It still boggles my mind that major distributors can't be arsed to educate and/or select reps who can detect and recognize cork taint when they encounter it.

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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Redwinger » Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:11 pm

Mark,
Distributors are the worst about training their reps on wine. They are paid to move product..period. Back when I was sort of ITB, I can't tell you the number of times a rep stopped by with samples for us to try. Not a clue that they were corked until I/we told them and even then they often had a puzzled/confused look about them. What was even more amazing is that they had served these same bottles in other shops and apparently the other retailers didn't question the wine.
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Re: My bread tastes..........corked!

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:31 pm

Redwinger wrote:Mark,
Distributors are the worst about training their reps on wine. They are paid to move product..period. Back when I was sort of ITB, I can't tell you the number of times a rep stopped by with samples for us to try. Not a clue that they were corked until I/we told them and even then they often had a puzzled/confused look about them. What was even more amazing is that they had served these same bottles in other shops and apparently the other retailers didn't question the wine.
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No argument here, Bill, since we're talking about the same distributor reps :D What's crazy, though, is that I know that e.g. Mike Pyle and Rob Henke at National know enough about cork taint to educate their flunkies, but clearly National doesn't consider it to be useful business practice to do so. How many sales have been lost because of poor quality control on their samples? If I had been a retailer trying that Gaja Barbaresco, I'd have written it off instantly on the basis of the pour that I got.

Just ranting, of course. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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