There Are No Losers at the County Fair

This is my second year judging the culinary competition at the San Mateo County Fair and I must say that yesterday’s open judging event proved to be highly competitive. I ate my way through dozens of cookies, and sampled various dessert entries to award best in show. The winner, an olive-cheese bread, was delicious and did deserve some placement, but not best in show. In general, competition is good, but can’t we all just be winners? The six of us judges gave our best pitch for the winner and majority ruled. But what about the perfect angel food cake? Or the lemon meringue pie with numerous peaks of lightly toasted meringue? And what about the exquisite double crust apple tart? That was immediately disqualified for an undercooked bottom crust. But it was so perfect in every other way.

Tonight I’m judging biscotti and am looking forward to seeing how many people will use savory ingredients such as herbs. If it were up to me, everyone would get a ribbon.

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