Secret tasting society?

Last week, we brought news of the opening of Crozet Pizza at the Buddhist Biker Bar & Grill. In a stroke of luck, just before our visit to the popular pizzeria, Dish discovered a new, anonymous group of local food lovers calling themselves the Cville Tasting Society, which recently crowned Crozet Pizza at the Buddhist Biker Bar & Grill the winner of a blind-taste-test of five local pizzas from the Downtown area. A core member of the society explains the structure, “Each time we do a tasting we determine what is the best of a certain type of cuisine." The member, who obviously wishes to go unnamed, says future tastings are to include shrimp and grits and sushi, and that they want to remain anonymous in order to maintain unbiased, random tastings.

So, just how did this secret society begin? Anonymous says, “Four of us were sitting around together a few months ago and wondered, ‘which place is the best place for Thai food in town?’” And with that question, a society was born. Of this core group of four, two are restaurant workers (none are affiliated with Crozet Pizza), one works at a hospital, and one is a pharmacist— the other tasters are invited friends of the four.

For the pizza tasting, which had a total of 10 tasters, the categories were as follows: size of the pie (three were similarly sized), flavor, and appearance, as in, "does it look good to eat?" They judged five pizzas on a 1-5 point scale.

A suspicious reporter asks how they conceal the “identity” of each pizza. “We sent out two non-tasters to pick up the pizzas and bring them to us at a local restaurant [closed at the time], where the pizzas are re-boxed into identical boxes and labeled A, B, C, D, and E, then reheated for a few minutes in the oven. Then the tasting begins!" 

It all sounds mysterious, we know, but there is something to be said for the guerilla nature of their quest to define the “best of” in a place like Charlottesville, where we are all so lucky to have a plethora of dining and cuisine options. And while Dish can’t reveal its sources, you can keep up with The Cville Tasting Society on Instagram at #cvilletastingsociety.

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