Becoming a professional ice cream taster is one of the best jobs for those who love ice cream. Imagine how nice it would be to get paid to eat ice cream. There are people who taste ice creams for a living. Ice cream taster jobs include tasting different flavors, creating new flavors, and carrying out quality assurance tests on the existing stock.
A professional ice cream taster should have the ability to assess the ice creams in terms of appearance, flavor, and texture. Though this career may sound easy, it is not. You have to evaluate ice cream, not just for their taste, but also for texture, smell, consistency, and various other factors. Before deciding to walk down this road, you must educate yourself on what ice cream tasters do.
A Day in the Life of an Ice Cream Taster
Called taste masters and sensory analysts, these experts taste and evaluate different flavors of ice cream every day. Professional ice cream tasters begin their workday early in the morning when their taste buds are in the best condition. They spend around five hours every day testing anywhere between 20 – 30 different flavors of ice cream at different levels of production.
Apart from this, they are also tasked with creating new flavors as a part of their work.
Becoming an Ice Cream Taster
Eating ice cream for a living may look like the sweetest career with a lucrative paycheck; it comes with its own share of difficulties. As a professional ice cream taster, you will also have to beta-test ice cream flavors some of which could be unpleasant. On average you are supposed to taste as many as 30 flavors a day. The downside is that ice cream tasters only taste but don’t eat.
Dreyer’s grand ice cream master taster John Harrison has tasted and approved over 200 million gallons of ice cream in his career. His extremely talented taste buds are insured for $1 million by the company. He follows a three-step process to taste ice creams.
He swirls, smacks and spits the ice creams he tastes. He noted that though people call this profession a sweet job, it is a huge responsibility. John is also known to have maintained his $1 million tongues. To cleanse his palate every day he drinks only herbal decaf tea and avoids anything that could clog his taste buds.
[Also Read: Steps to Become a Food Critic]
Skills & Qualification Required
Boundless imagination, patience, healthy taste buds, and a discerning palate are some of the necessary skills to be possessed by the ice cream tasters. These skills are very important to possess, as they are expected to assess the nuances of every flavor as much as possible to ensure the quality. Having hands-on experience in a scoop shop will help, as it offers practical knowledge about different ice cream flavors, preservation and what consumer prefers.
Obtain a graduate degree in food science or dairy science so that you can know more about food processing. In addition to this, one should also think of including chemistry, business marketing, and product development. Find an apprenticeship at an ice cream manufacturing company so that you can know everything about ice-cream making. You should take the utmost care of your palate. Your taste buds tongue and mouth must be healthy and free of flavors.
Drawbacks & Compensation
Ice cream taster jobs come with quite a few drawbacks including weight gain, brain freeze caused by an increase in the blood volumes in the brain, sluggishness and much more. Professional ice cream tasters refrain from eating anything spicy within twenty-four hours of a taste test.
Tasting ice creams can be quite monotonous, as you examine ice creams for weeks at a time. It involves a lot of concentration because you don’t eat a scoopful of ice cream to assess it but just a little bit for taste and then you spit it out. You should evaluate the ice cream ingredient by ingredient and every aspect of the product. Is the ice cream creamy? Can you taste the Vanilla? How strong is the mint flavor? Your taste buds can be easily fatigued so you should take the utmost care of it.
Ice Cream Taster Salary
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t have a category for “food taster”. It is difficult to determine the ice cream taster salary because of the vagueness of the job description. (1) However, as per the reports of the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the food scientists in all industries had a mean annual wage of $ 72,570 in May 2018. It also noted that the employment of food scientists is expected to see a 6% growth from 2016-2026.
Are You Ready for the Job?
Like any other profession, ice cream taster jobs do have a few perks and downsides. While you can enjoy tasting different flavors of ice cream, you are given a huge responsibility. You can decide if a particular flavor of ice cream can hit the market or not. If you are a great ice cream taster, then the ice cream company that has hired you will even have your taste buds insured for big money. Tasting ice cream for a living can be exhausting and stressful as it takes a lot of concentration for proper assessment. Nevertheless, it is a sweet career.