I’m trying to figure out a way to upload video with my crap internet connection, and I’m running on fumes anyway, so here’s a brief intermission from the BSJC. I want to talk about the taste test in the Chicken Annie’s/Chicken Mary’s episode of Food Wars.
(Disclaimer: I am indifferent to the Annie’s/Mary’s debate. While I do love Annie’s, I’ve never tried Mary’s so I can’t really compare the two. My contention doesn’t lie with the fact that Chicken Mary’s won.)
I know this is a TV show taste test and not the James Randi Million Dollar Challenge, so a strict and elaborate double-blind setup isn’t necessary. However, there was one really huge flaw in the test that throws the results in question. I’m of course talking about the “impartial” judges.
If you missed the show, here was the setup. There were five taste testers. Two of them were “super fans” of the respective restaurants. I imagined they were included in case of the hilarious possibility that a “huge fan” picked the wrong chicken. The other three were “impartial”, but in reality only one could be called that.
See if you can spot the impartial one. One was a food critic from some big city who had never been to Pittsburg. The second was the sheriff of Pittsburg. The third was some old dude who was a “local celebrity.”
If you guessed tester number one, give yourself a hearty pat on the buttocks. What do the other two have in common? They both live in Pittsburg. I didn’t catch if those two have never eaten at those restaurants, but I really, really doubt it. That’s not impartial. What they should have done for all the testers was narrow it down to people who have never been to Pittsburg and never eaten either restaurant’s chicken. They didn’t even have to be food critics; I’m sure Bobcat Goldthwait could have freed up some time in his busy schedule. That would have effectively lowered the chance of bias.
However, the Food Wars crew neglected to notice or care about this glaring error. With that in mind, this test means nothing to me. I will probably continue to enjoy the Annie’s that my parents bring home. Even on those occasions when we find a wing that has a stray feather still attached.