What Makes Great Scalloped Potatoes?

A high quality cheesy scalloped potato casserole should lead with potato, dairy and cheese notes in aroma and flavor. The profile may also include toasty, bouillon, onion, garlic, herb/parsley, potato skin and margarine notes. There should not be a scorched intensity.

The texture of the potatoes should be moist and tender with some variability in the texture of the individual potato slices is acceptable. The casserole should have some richness and not be dry and pasty.  Some level of chewiness and adhesiveness is also appropriate.

The taste profile should lead with salt and be supported by sweet, sour and minimal bitter.

The casserole should appear to have some browning. The sauce should be visible and not totally absorbed by the potatoes. The potato slices should have some integrity and the sauce should have thickness – not appear overly thin or watery.

Tasting terms

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • chew

    The texture of a food as it is being chewed, as opposed to the texture of the first bite. Example: High-quality beef jerky should be tender but have a long chew.