Admit it. We’ve all wondered the same question: “What does dog food taste like?” Most of us are too nervous to try it, or maybe some of us have and are just too embarrassed to offer our opinions. But maybe the more important question we should be asking is, “Can I taste the difference between pâté and dog food?”
According to Scientific American, one researcher asked just that when he gathered 18 people around a table, prepared five dishes — duck liver mousse, pork liver pâté, liverwurst, Spam, and Newman’s Own dog food — and asked the participants to blindly sample them. Since dog food shares many of the same ingredients with each of these dishes, he wanted to know if dog food could be an inexpensive substitute for pâté or blended meat products.
Each dish was blended to a mousse-like consistency, placed in serving bowls that were chilled at 4 degrees, and garnished with parsley. If they chose to, tasters could use Carr’s Table Water Crackers for dipping.
Once they had sampled each, the participants were asked to rank the dishes from best to worst. Not surprisingly, the dog food was least favored with 13 people ranking it last. But apparently five people thought it still tasted better than other dishes. The duck liver mousse came in first by 10 votes.
We suppose participants actually liked the dog food as well, because when asked to identify which of the five dishes was the dog food, only three people correctly identified it. Eight thought that liverwurst was actually the dog food.
So in the end, it turns out that people don’t like dog food all that much. However, some like it more than other dishes, like probably liverwurst or Spam. So maybe it could pass as a cheap substitute after all. Be mindful though because you could get salmonella from eating dog food.
If you’re tempted to try it, here’s a recipe for home-cooked dog food.