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View Full Version : Parsley, parsley, parsley! What ever happened to Green Leaf Lettuce?


kcmike
05-12-2011, 05:41 PM
Are parsley putting greens the only boxes that get called in today's contests? Back when I used to compete, we did well with just green leaf lettuce... But, now I wonder if these boxes would even get called today... Thoughts?

JD McGee
05-12-2011, 06:16 PM
We only do lettuce boxes...and have done very well on our appearance scores. The judges need to pay more attention to the meat...not the box! if it were up to me I'd do away with "garnish" altogether...it's a meat competition for cryin' out loud! Garnish is "optional" up here under PNWBA rules...but I'd probably get nailed for marking or something because I'd be the only one NOT using garnish...lol!

Southern Home Boy
05-12-2011, 06:19 PM
I've gotten calls with just green leaf lettuce, but not recently. This one ALMOST made it couple of weeks ago:
http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac160/southernhomeboy/2011%20competitions/Cookoffkickoff2011033.jpg

But yours are way better than mine.

HarleyEarl
05-12-2011, 07:25 PM
I know of one very good team that uses only lettuce, I won't call them out though since it's not my place to do so. Personally, I like the parsley boxes and can build them quicker than I could build our old lettuce boxes. I have also found that parsley is easier to touch up after the meat has been placed and you need to hide sauce blunders. Since we are in a meat contest and the judges should be looking at only the meat, I would say use whatever you are comfortable with and used to.

Sledneck
05-12-2011, 09:38 PM
wow what is that stuff? i think I heard an old timer talking about it once

Brewer
05-13-2011, 01:10 AM
Nice smoke ring on that brisket kcmike :thumb:

JD - I got a comment at the Sky comp: "Parsley leaves an off taste on food". I figured the judge was a parsley hater, but the more I think about the more I'm thinking about moving to green lettuce...

kcmike
05-13-2011, 10:15 AM
Nice smoke ring on that brisket kcmike :thumb:

JD - I got a comment at the Sky comp: "Parsley leaves an off taste on food". I figured the judge was a parsley hater, but the more I think about the more I'm thinking about moving to green lettuce...

You're not the first team I've heard about getting comments back like that. Which is another reason I'm still wondering why parsley putting greens are so damn popular. Somebody must be teaching them at a BBQ class or something...

Mike

Brewer
05-13-2011, 10:43 AM
You're not the first team I've heard about getting comments back like that. Which is another reason I'm still wondering why parsley putting greens are so damn popular. Somebody must be teaching them at a BBQ class or something...

Mike

I'm taking the PNWBA judge's class this weekend. It'll be interesting to see if they say anything about it....

JD McGee
05-13-2011, 11:39 AM
I'm taking the PNWBA judge's class this weekend. It'll be interesting to see if they say anything about it....

I will be interested to hear what you are taught. We will be doing parsley in Vegas for the simple reason that it is so popular in KCBS comps...otherwise it's GLF for Wine Country Q...

QansasjayhawQ
05-13-2011, 11:47 AM
I always turn in green leaf lettuce - with a little parsley inserted around any glaring blank spots.

BUT - as JD McGee says 'it's a meat competition' and I agree that the judges should be judging the meat - not the garnish.

The garnish is there simply to 'set off' the meat. I think the color of meat against any green background looks appetizing - and that's really what it's all about.

My personal impression of the entries you've provided is that they look really, really good.

I'd give each of them a 9 - it's how the meat is presented that counts and yours looks very appetizing.

If a judge comments about the taste of parsley affecting the meat, just make sure they didn't score down on appearance because of the taste of the parsley.

kcmike
05-13-2011, 11:51 AM
Here's what I'd be worried about: Recently, I've seen pictures of judging palates with 6 entries placed on them and at least one of them always has parsley plastered to the bottom of it. So, while the type of greens used "shouldn't" be a factor as long as they are legal, if they end up stuck to the entry and the judge is "forced" to include them in the taste and tenderness portions of the evaluation, I can see how a teams choice of what greens they use could become a real factor in their final score.

On a separate note, I know this is a meat contest and I'm totally against judges forming some kind of preconceived notion of what specific legal greens "should" be in a box, I just wonder why so many teams are of the opinion that if you're doing a KCBS contest you'd better use parsley? This one puzzles me... it's almost like the judges have spoken and unless you use parsley, you're not going to get any calls... I hope this is not true.

Stoke&Smoke
05-13-2011, 12:02 PM
We used putting greens our first year. I had NO fun. It just takes to dang long, and as others have said, it is a meat contest.

We started using mostly green leaf with just a little, if any parsley, and it takes me way less time to do the boxes. Our appearance scores don't seem to have suffered.

I know they shouldn't, but I'm convinced some judges do subconsciously grade up a little on a well done putting green. Just based on what I saw when I judged.

QansasjayhawQ
05-13-2011, 12:14 PM
When I am judging, I always remove the parsley from the samples. I'm there to judge the meat.

Garnish should be treated like matting for a print. If it's done decently, it should enhance the appearance and increase the viewer's appreciation.

I don't think that the putting green presentations draw a high appearance score because they are a putting green and the judges are 'looking for' or 'expecting' them. I think they draw a high appearance score because the team went to great efforts to ensure that the overall appearance was excellent. And that comes through whether you use parsley or not.

kcmike
05-13-2011, 12:20 PM
When I am judging, I always remove the parsley from the samples. I'm there to judge the meat.

Garnish should be treated like matting for a print. If it's done decently, it should enhance the appearance and increase the viewer's appreciation.

I don't think that the putting green presentations draw a high appearance score because they are a putting green and the judges are 'looking for' or 'expecting' them. I think they draw a high appearance score because the team went to great efforts to ensure that the overall appearance was excellent. And that comes through whether you use parsley or not.

Glad to hear you remove the parsley from the sample before tasting. I'm quite sure others do not. Is there any instruction to the judges to do so (or to not do so)? Just wondering if this is covered in any of the classes or in the judges meeting...

Mike

JD McGee
05-13-2011, 12:54 PM
When I am judging, I always remove the parsley from the samples. I'm there to judge the meat.

Garnish should be treated like matting for a print. If it's done decently, it should enhance the appearance and increase the viewer's appreciation.

I don't think that the putting green presentations draw a high appearance score because they are a putting green and the judges are 'looking for' or 'expecting' them. I think they draw a high appearance score because the team went to great efforts to ensure that the overall appearance was excellent. And that comes through whether you use parsley or not.

I think they draw a high appearance score because the team went to great efforts to ensure that the overall appearance was excellent.

This is exactly what I did NOT want to hear...effort should pay no roll in presentation (other than in the placement or arrangement of the meat)...nor should the garnish...it is the meat that should be judged on it's own merits...IMO...

QansasjayhawQ
05-13-2011, 01:20 PM
I think they draw a high appearance score because the team went to great efforts to ensure that the overall appearance was excellent.

This is exactly what I did NOT want to hear...effort should pay no roll in presentation (other than in the placement or arrangement of the meat)...nor should the garnish...it is the meat that should be judged on it's own merits...IMO...
Well, true. I guess I mis-wrote.

If a team makes their meat look good, it takes effort. You can't just throw your entry in the box haphazardly and expect to score well. So, you're right. I am not judging on "effort" as an element, nor should anyone.

BUT - you can tell if a team 'made an effort' or not when they were creating their boxes because the meat will look appetizing.

How's that sit with you?

:-)

JD McGee
05-13-2011, 02:06 PM
Well, true. I guess I mis-wrote.

If a team makes their meat look good, it takes effort. You can't just throw your entry in the box haphazardly and expect to score well. So, you're right. I am not judging on "effort" as an element, nor should anyone.

BUT - you can tell if a team 'made an effort' or not when they were creating their boxes because the meat will look appetizing.

How's that sit with you?

:-)

Perfect! Lol!

Prairie Smoke
05-13-2011, 02:37 PM
One big difference (parsley vs lettuce), is that with a parsley putting green it's easier to prop the meat up so it sits on top of the garnish... which highlights the MEAT.

With lettuce boxes, even when done well, I find that the lettuce wraps around and up the sides of the box. With lettuce - the meat is 'in' the garnish, whereas with a putting green the meat is sitting up on top of the garnish.

This is a pretty broad statement and I'm sure there's exceptions, just something I've noticed and pondered...

deguerre
05-13-2011, 02:42 PM
One big difference (parsley vs lettuce), is that with a parsley putting green it's easier to prop the meat up so it sits on top of the garnish... which highlights the MEAT.

With lettuce boxes, even when done well, I find that the lettuce wraps around and up the sides of the box. With lettuce - the meat is 'in' the garnish, whereas with a putting green the meat is sitting up on top of the garnish.

This is a pretty broad statement and I'm sure there's exceptions, just something I've noticed and pondered...

Unless you're using romaine hearts sliced very thinly across the width...

JD McGee
05-13-2011, 04:10 PM
With NO garnish you wouldn't have any of those issues...just sayin'...lol!

Pig Headed
05-13-2011, 04:39 PM
When I judge, it doesn't matter what is used for garnish as long as the box looks nice. I care more about the meat.

I cook also and use both parsley and lettuce, it depends on what the entry is. I think chicken and ribs look better on parsley and pork and brisket look better on lettuce. Just my personal preferrence with turn in's. I don't notice much difference in scores.

HarleyEarl
05-13-2011, 06:43 PM
One big difference (parsley vs lettuce), is that with a parsley putting green it's easier to prop the meat up so it sits on top of the garnish... which highlights the MEAT.

With lettuce boxes, even when done well, I find that the lettuce wraps around and up the sides of the box. With lettuce - the meat is 'in' the garnish, whereas with a putting green the meat is sitting up on top of the garnish.

This is a pretty broad statement and I'm sure there's exceptions, just something I've noticed and pondered...

I guess I was one of your exceptions when I was using lettuce. We trimmed the lettuce and placed it in the box vertically and ended up with a lettuce "putting green" of sorts. The reason we switched to parsley is that it seems to make the meat pop better on a darker surface. Both methods are a pain to assemble, but the parsley also takes less time to assemble and now that I am putting the boxes together myself, I take the quicker/easier route. I much rather spend my time cooking rather than gardening:-P.

QansasjayhawQ
05-13-2011, 08:53 PM
I much rather spend my time cooking rather than gardening:-P.
Well, there you go. So much concern about an attribute that is weighted so much less than taste and tenderness! (I reviewed the rules this afternoon.)

"6) The weighting factors for the point system are as follows:
Appearance ‐ 0.5714, Taste ‐ 2.2858, Tenderness ‐ 1.1428."

From:
http://www.kcbs.us/pdf/2011_Rules_and_Regulations_12-10-2010.pdf

Seems like folks ought to be more worried about their cooking rather than their gardening, as you say!

kcmike
05-13-2011, 09:32 PM
Careful, don't undervalue the importance of the appearance score in today's ultra-competitive contests where sometimes only tenths of a point separate the top three teams and there's big money at stake.

QansasjayhawQ
05-13-2011, 09:41 PM
Careful, don't undervalue the importance of the appearance score in today's ultra-competitive contests where sometimes only tenths of a point separate the top three teams and there's big money at stake.
That's very true - and I pointed that out in a previous post comparing the closeness of competition to the qualifying times of NASCAR (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1626475&postcount=33) - all the competitors are very close!

But when a team such as mine that finds itself in the lower half of the competitors on a consistent basis, it seems fitting that we would concentrate first on taste, then tenderness and finally on appearance in order to improve our results.

Thanks for the thought -

kcmike
05-14-2011, 01:30 PM
That's very true - and I pointed that out in a previous post comparing the closeness of competition to the qualifying times of NASCAR (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1626475&postcount=33) - all the competitors are very close!

But when a team such as mine that finds itself in the lower half of the competitors on a consistent basis, it seems fitting that we would concentrate first on taste, then tenderness and finally on appearance in order to improve our results.

Thanks for the thought -
How would I have know about your other post in a different thread posted over two weeks ago? I don't commit every one of your posts to memory, nor do I follow you around to see what you posted...

Anyway... my advice to you (if you find yourself in the lower half of competitors on a consistent basis) is you should probably focus on all three aspects of judging equally, because the devil's in the details, and if you preferentially focus on the first two you mentioned, in today's contests, you'll still likely find yourself outside the top ten each time.

Good luck,
Mike