By Sheridan Fay
For quite some time now I’ve had to listen to my brother in law, and Geaux Rouge founder, Franz Broghardt brag about how he was a “super taster”. What is that? Am I that? I’m a mom and I assure you I can decipher that weird spot on my daughter’s shirt in order to know how to get it out, but are my taste buds scientifically awesome? The competitive nature in me took over at the thought. I had to know. So, when I found out that Geaux Rouge was working with the LSU Sensory Services Lab to create and educational and entertaining program series, I jumped. These people have the job of methodically picking apart molecule by molecule the simple things that we consume every day and are tasked with making them better. From concept and development, the design, and even the product placement, these students and faculty are helping shape our market for the better IN OUR OWN BACKYARD! Global companies are looking to our LSU for answers and I’m just over here wanting to beat the other guy at a taste test.
We were courted with the idea that the first event was much like an appetizer and meant to tease you. Meant to make you hungrier for the programs that the partnership between Geaux Rouge and the LSU Sensory Services Lab had in store. During his presentation, Dr. Witoon identified what a supertaster was, explained their sensitivity to bitter taste, and how salt was what was going to end us all. Afterwards, we did a blind experiment to test our ability to decipher and identify taste with the results to be revealed later. I felt very confident in my decisions and was well on my way to a peacock strut that I would in fact win the super “I’m better than you taster award” against Franz. I was wrong and it also appears being a super taster actually isn’t the greatest thing to be. It was explained that it can almost be a burden.
So, now disappointed and confused about my ability, onward we pressed. We took our sensory adventure of the classroom and into a hands on experience. From a tour of the Kitchen Incubator on campus to an actual taste trial involving syrups, we got an intimate look at what goes on behind the scenes at the LSU Sensory Services Lab. A few Graduate Students generously lent us their time and their minds as they explained to us their research. I was amazed to know that right here, in our home town, there is a globally recognized program for research and development in food sciences. They are not only driving the development and careers of local businesses and products, but looking to change the way we consume, produce, store, and look at our food.
I left invigorated with new knowledge, and a little nerdy that I just spent a child free evening in school. This isn’t a one and done though! Geaux Rouge and the LSU Sensory Services Lab have partnered up for a series of interactive experiences. Stay tuned for announcements on how to participate. In the meantime, sign up for Tiger Tasters. What is it you ask? The Lab is basically having to turn down work, dollars that can be coming into our city and university for research and development, because we don’t have tasters! The idea is to build a network of individuals from every group possible so that when the work comes in , they have access to people young and old, male or female, and from all walks of life to choose from. Don’t just live in Baton Rouge. LIVE Rouge and Geaux Rouge! Hope to see you at the next event!
Geaux Mommy is the blog for Geaux Rouge’s own, Sheridan Fay. Sheridan is an intern for Geaux Rouge, a single mom to a beautiful little girl, and works full time in the mortgage industry.