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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My cookies taste like...grass?

I have this chocolate chip recipe that is heaven. It's not health food at all, which is part of what makes them so delicious. I brought them to a raw vegan potluck this weekend, and they flew off the plate and people were asking me for the recipe (which is a secret :). There weren't very many of us, so with the amount I brought I offered to let people take some home. They were very excited about that!

My boss seems to really like my chocolate chip cookies, and other coworkers have commented on how they can't tell the difference between them and the gluten version. Then there was a woman I work with who took a bite, got a funny look on her face and said, "It tastes like grass!" The other coworkers stared at her in disbelief. This isn't a group who holds back. When I first started tinkering around and bringing things in for people to try, they let me know when something had the wrong texture and tasted "really gluten free." They don't hold back and won't eat something if they don't like it - which is why I was so surprised when someone said they taste like freshly mowed lawn.

The coworker I share my desk with wondered out loud if it was because she smoked, so we went on a mission to find other smokers. Sure enough, they all thought they didn't taste good and one other even commented on how much they taste like grass!

I am pretty sure amaranth flour is what is causing the problem. When I smell the flour on its own, there is a strong smell that could be compared to grass. I don't know why smoking makes it taste so much stronger. It's a mystery! I had some amaranth flour in the Lemon Bar cookies I brought in, but apparently the citrus masks it. I'm going to sub out teff or brown rice flour and I will see if that changes the smokers opinion. She loves the Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes, which have similar ingredients minus the amaranth, so I'm fairly certain that is the issue.

Do you know anyone that smokes? Have you had them try food with amaranth? I would love to see how prevalent this issue is....


  1. I'm a smoker and I've never tried amaranth but now I want to. I'd like to know what grass tastes like. That sounds awesome. But it makes sense, I mean, smoking really does fuck with our tastebuds. I tend to have to add a lot more seasoning to things because some of my tastebuds are dead. But I've never heard of anything like this before...

  2. It was really weird...and consistent. You could use the flour in pancakes or something :)

  3. mail me some cookies. i'm not far away. no, really, haha. i can't afford to make them myself. i feel like i really need to test this.

  4. That's really weird. I would have thought that smoking would mute, rather than intensify flavors, as Ikon suggested. I wonder why some flavors would be duller, and others more pronounced.