If you consider yourself a food enthusiast (and we think you probably are, since you're reading this), you can thank a chef. Chefs prepare food, but work is much more than that. They work with different types of foods, flavors, condiments and herbs and find combinations that work together to raise a meal from good to great. Of course, you can't become an excellent chef without an excellent palate or sense of taste.
This means testing food as you cook, adjusting recipes as you go, and using your palate to determine which flavors work best together. Successful chefs also need to be able to lead a team, manage inventory, deal with suppliers, and understand the finances of their workplace (whether it's a restaurant, hotel, dive bar, or personal dinner). Regardless of your educational level and professional experience, knowing the steps you need to take to become a food taster can help you achieve that goal. Meanwhile, Schwan Food Company, which is headquartered in Marshall, Minnesota, and sells frozen food through home delivery and grocery stores, invites people who live near the company's headquarters to take paid flavor tests.
Food tasters will also be needed to ensure that food products meet quality standards, such as taste and appearance. Food tasters can advance to positions of greater responsibility within their company, such as quality control manager. If you have thick skin and don't mind working alone, some of these jobs could be perfect. As a food taster, you'll have the opportunity to try new foods and give feedback on their taste and texture.
A food taster is a professional whose main task is to test food prepared by another person in order to check safety and certain characteristics. In addition, food tasters may need to perform several rounds of testing to ensure that a product meets the highest standards. Their work tasks include thorough tasting, relationships with farmers and cheese-makers, selecting the cheeses they are going to buy, knowing how all the cheeses are made, and storing the cheese correctly. The first group takes food samples as part of their work, while the second only participates in taste tests.
As local ingredients become more popular, food tasters should become familiar with them and know how to use them in recipes. Food tasters will need to keep up to date on these advances to maintain their relevant skills and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace. As food tourism continues to grow, there will be a high demand for food tasters, as they can offer a unique guest experience that can't be found anywhere else. While graduating from culinary school may improve your chances of becoming a food taster, it's not an official prerequisite and you can succeed in this profession even without formal education.
However, I found that these jobs require a lot of hard work, odd hours and creativity, along with enduring criticism from customers and restaurants alike. Work can be stressful, as food tasters must be able to identify even minor changes in taste, texture, or smell.