Talk:1639: To Taste

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Seasoning is not an intermediate process which can't be repaired/re-done. you're left with an edible dish before and after. You add seasoning in small incremental steps, and the quality of the dish, or appropriateness of the taste improves monotonically, and additively. On the other hand, baking something for 5 minutes, and then another 5 minutes isn't the same as baking it for 10 minutes. 09:54, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, but a beginner should be given an idea of what a basic incremental step is supposed to be, based on the number of servings in the recipe. One pinch? One (tea/table)spoon? One cup? One jug? One crate? - 11:38, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Usually when it's said to taste, which I guess corresponds to the Italian quanto basta, it's referring to small amounts, so a beginner could just add a pinch per time until he finds the flavor is good. Whenever it's unnecessary, recipes shouldn't be specific; you don't have to grill a steak for exactly 5 or 10 minutes, just until it has the color and looks of a steak you think you may like; if you boil pasta, you taste a bit once a minute until the texture is good. -- 12:25, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
The joke is that this kind of knowledge is implied in recipes, it isn't spelled out. Which can be a problem for beginners. And good luck trying that approach when baking spiced bread. Or manufacturing soufflé. ;) 13:15, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Luckily, there are pastas which specify how long you are supposed to cook them on the package. Especially useful in case of those "fast" ones. -- Hkmaly (talk) 13:57, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
"Appropriateness" increases "monotonically" ... until it decreases again. :D 13:15, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Try preparing two slow cook dishes but in one add all the seasoning at the end before serving. You will now know that seasoning can be very integral to the process and if added in wrong quantities at the wrong time can ruin a dish.--R0hrshach (talk) 17:11, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
De gustibus non disputandum est. RAGBRAIvet (talk) 16:46, 6 February 2016 (UTC) — RAGBRAIvet -- RAGBRAIvet (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
De gustibus non disputandum est This is Joda-Latin, isn't it? 13:26, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I prefer to binary search instead of linearly searching. O(log n) versus O(n)! -- 21:31, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Also, I noticed that an unusual number of IP's are on the 162.158.x.x sub-block. Weird. -- 17:10, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
ExplainXKCD uses Cloudflare, which means all connections end up proxied through one of their servers. Those servers have a small range of IP's. 23:03, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

I can't tell if Randall is reading too many cookbooks or if he just has... Too many cooks108.162.221.54 13:46, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

It does take a lot to make a stew, after all. A lot of sugar, in this case. 07:19, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
That's only 3 cubes. Totally reasonable. Elvenivle (talk) 20:24, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Maybe he obtained enough sugar so his sample size would be sufficient for scientific experimentation on what to taste means.Thaledison (talk) 14:02, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

In my experience, the instructions "add _____ to taste" usually are referring to salt, not sugar. And from comic #1637, we all know Cueball has access to virtually an unlimited quantity of salt! 14:55, 5 February 2016 (UTC)Sam

As a non-USAian, it's interesting that Randall has chosen to show excessive amounts of sugar. I've used many great recipes of US origin and the first thing I do is ignore everything that the recipe says about sugar, in pretty much every case (not baking though) our (British taste) is satisfied by removing all added sugar. Perhaps he's highlighting the US "sweet tooth"? 08:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Why is he bringing in the sugar backwards? Perhaps he doesn't know how to properly use a dolly? Bsellnow (talk) 19:37, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Maybe he just came up the stairs? There's loads of houses that have stairs (or, frequently, a single stair) between the kitchen and the back porch/food storage area/front porch/garage/attic/wherever else you'll get sugar from. Plus, since the sugar was stacked so high it was leaning against his face, there's no way he'd be able to see if he was walking forwards. I think, really, his biggest sin is that he stacked the boxes to an unsafe level. Jeudi Violist (talk) 00:34, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
No kidding that's an unsafe level. He's holding them up with his face! Jkshapiro (talk) 03:37, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The framing of the comic was such that if he had pushed the dolly in, we would not have seen cueball in the last panel, and might have been confused as to where the crates of sugar were coming from, and if they were just falling in, or dollying in, or what. Randall knows how to draw in a manner that conveys the meaning, and we really don't need to look into it so deeply. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
But looking into comics far too deeply is what we do! :) 12:40, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
That isn't how to use a dolly, so it's a good thing he isn't using one. A dolly is a platform with wheels, used for furniture moving, mobile cameras for filming, and the like. He's using a Hand Truck, which would usually be backed through doorways so you can actually open the door. It is also easier to steer precisely in tight spaces backwards. 23:11, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

This is strongly reminiscent of episode 5 of Astrid Lindgren's Seacrow Island (original title Vi På Saltkråkan) where Melker adds salt to taste. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)