Today Erin, Amber (Erin’s sister) and I became official Great American Pie judges! We showed up bright and early to the Caribe Royal in Orlando, near Celebration where the Pie Festival is going on this weekend. When we got there, it was about 80% retirees (it was a Friday morning, after all) and quite a few “pie judge veterans.”
Today was the commercial pie judging, which means we were tasting the kind of pies you buy in the grocery store or restaurant. First, we were brought into a room and properly trained on how to judge pie.
This is serious stuff! And no talking is allowed until the judging forms have been collected. Then, we were given our pie assignments at different tables. Amber and I were assigned to cherry, while Erin was assigned to cream pies and “shelf stable pumpkin pies.”
I was bummed because my first choice was peanut butter pie, which was the table directly behind ours. I had to hear the “ooh”s and “ahh”s everytime a new delicious peanut butter chocolate cream pie was brought out, and the old people at the pb table began to taunt me knowing how jealous I was of them.
Miss Carol would first bring out each pie, uncut, for our first score, which was based on consistency of crust or topping and overall appeal. Then they would cut it, and she would show us the piece as well as the rest of the pie, so we could judge appropriate runniness, juicyness, color, and visual appeal. Then we each got a little sliver containing crust, filling, and anything else involved with the pie. Then it was finally time to taste!
Scores were based on Flavor, Mouth Feel (consistency), Crust, and Aftertaste. I wrote a book of comments after every pie.
As Amber and I soon realized, commercial cherry pie can be delicious or really, really gross! I have always hated that gelatinous translucent red goo that comes in canned cherry pie filling so I was a very harsh judge. The Simon Cowell of pie judging, if you will!
In total, we tried 23 cherry pies over the course of 5 hours.
Needless to say, I felt pretty yucky afterwards and will be going to the gym immediately following this post! You can visit Erin and Amber at the festival tomorrow at the Kelapo booth, and me on Sunday. See ya there!
Try this amazing apple pie!