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Getting paid to eat

October 1, 2009 - Cindy Votruba
This past Tuesday I did my first taste test for the Schwan Food Co. R&D sensory department. Since I did the story on it, I thought, “why not?” I get to try different foods and it’s $10 in my pocket for less than an hour’s worth of my time.

Last week, I had started getting the test times emails after I signed up. I’d get asked a survey question, such as did you buy any of these kind of products in the last six weeks? The first three, I didn’t meet the requirements. Oh well, don’t get to test pizza, I guess. I’ll be fine.

Tuesday’s test was the dipping sauce for eggrolls. We had to try five different sauces. The first one was OK, not earthshaking. The scent of another knocked me for a loop. Testers are supposed to judge on the aroma as well as the taste and appearance. It was fun and easy and I don’t think I’ll have eggrolls for a while though.

Today is my second test. This time it’s frozen yogurt bars. I had also qualified for a test tomorrow with rotisserie chicken, but declined. The only times that were open were around lunch, and I’m doing an interview with Florence Dacey at noon at Perkin’s. Had another offer for a different test tomorrow. The survey question was on what kind of pizza I had eaten in the last six weeks. I didn’t qualify for the test. Go figure.


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