Recipe Testing Series 1 of 3 – Setting up


I mentioned in the last post that we had to do some recipe tweaking at a fundamental level for ALIMA’S. In this three-part series, we’ll focus on our experience with reformulating and testing the Alima’s recipe. While we are not religiously organic & natural eaters – give me a minute while I dust this empty bag of All Dressed Ruffles off my keyboard – we (and by we I mean me) are adamant about not contributing to the additive and artificially flavoured food market out there. We can all, perhaps shamefully, admit that sometimes we just want some good ol’ fashioned MSG. My family and I have decided that we are going to rid ourselves of that drug and with that we certainly cannot manufacture and sell a product which contains it.

I love to cook, eat and be satisfied. After standardizing the ratios for the Alima’s signature recipe the time for tweaking came. We have never worked in a test kitchen officially but with some common sense, piqued tastebuds and a lot of motivation we found out what one should do.

Some Essential Steps

1) Know what you want for a final taste and what you are changing.

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2) Know what that change requires, i.e. reverse engineering of something you want to substitute.

3) Only change one thing at a time.

4) Make sure that the quantities are always the same unless you are changing the quantity of a particular thing.

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6) Taste again and again.

7) Label and organize the fruits of each test so you know what was tweaked with.

8) Write it all down.Picture 013

Recipe testing can be a little discouraging for the startup food producer as the minions of “failed” recipes pile up in your fridge. There will be anxiety about what is really good and deciding which one is the best. The worry that what you prefer may not satisfy the masses as you presume or at least win over your target market in the way you think it will. There is a certain psychology behind it and an intimacy that has to be established with each trial. Next week, we will detail how we taste tested each new batch.

We have posted some cool articles on the topic in our Resources Section.

What would a post be without the Successes and Setbacks for week.

Successes

We have all but secured a commercial kitchen for when production starts up and the landlady is willing to keep a spot open for us despite the huge demand!

Our visit to the tax lady was awesome, and hilarious because she’s a hoot, but was some real positive reinforcement that we are making all the right moves. She gave us some great advice and counseled us on our cost structure and business model so every retailed and wholesaled bottle will be profitable. Afterwards, we had some awesome fish and chips and the Olde York on Laird in Toronto. (Yes that is a success)

After rigourous testing and an exhausting week of cooking we finally have a working recipe that is very signature and not easy to replicate.

Setbacks

How the current recipe formulation will play out in real production is showing to present some problems in terms of time spent and the effect on cost.

Mama FlavourFull

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