Kind things to say about crappy products

Surprised smileys

Unfortunately, reviewing isn’t always done from the comfort of a dark corner of a restaurant. Often you will be invited to shows and events with the hope that you will write something positive and generate some word of mouth.

On those occasions you can expect that you will be asked to comment immediately on products that are, hmm, let’s say, ‘varying degrees of pleasurable.’ So, what can you say when put on the spot like that?

My, what an intriguing flavour profile!
I’m not going to lie. This has popped out of my mouth quite a few times, and yet, it’s not a great response. Possibly the ‘my!’ gives it away or the giant eyes that invariably accompanies it, but I’m working on never saying this again.

Wow, that is complex.
Uh huh. Yep. Some people will tell you just how non-committal I can be. I feel like this sentence captures it to a tee.

Oh, so flavourful!
Yeah, it’s full of flavour all right. Just not necessarily a good flavour.

Is that [choose a flavour], I detect?
I like to pick a subtle component of the sample and just let the other person talk about it. I smile, I nod, and then escape gracefully.

Oooo, this is really [rich]!
Choose a positive-sounding - and yet neutral - quality of the sample you are tasting and comment on that.
Other appropriately general adjectives include: full-bodied / mellow / clean / spicy / sweet / juicy / savoury / zesty / tangy

It has a good balance between x & y.
This option lets you mix it up a bit over the course of an evening. You can use the same general set of adjectives as above, plus you can also throw in a few that on their own might not seem positive, such as: salty / tart / fiery / sour / honeyed / peppery / pungent / bitter

Contributed comments:

I’ve never had this flavour before.” I was telling my friend Heather about this article, and she mentioned that someone had said this to her at a meal she had prepared. Considering she seemed perfectly aware that this wasn’t a compliment, I don’t actually recommend trying it unless you are really, REALLY smooth.

Finally, if you are in a pinch, if it really comes down to the fact you are eating something completely irredeemable, you can always use the suggestion from Catherine: I really like the packaging!

All in all, the next time you feel like you are on the hot seat and need to comment on something quickly, yet honestly, feel free to reach for the appropriate item on this list! Consider them your new stand-bys.

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