The ACS T.A.S.T.E. Test® (Technical, Aesthetic, Sensory, Tasting Evaluation) evaluates cheese professionals’ knowledge and skills in the assessment of cheese, from determining cheese condition and quality, to evaluating cheese flavor, body, texture, and appearance. Individuals who pass the test will earn the title of ACS Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator®, or ACS CCSE®. The ACS CCSE® certification is a mark of excellence and achievement that reflects a commitment to the best possible care for cheese and service to those who love it.
The test is 3 hours in length and includes the following tasks:
Cheese assessment and evaluation
Each candidate will be provided with up to 12 unidentified cheeses. For each cheese, the candidates must assess and evaluate both positive and negative attributes in the context of that cheese’s style, including sight, taste, touch, and smell.
Single attribute identification
Each candidate will be provided with 10 different prepared solutions, each providing a unique aroma found in cheese. The candidates must identify these attributes.
The scoring system for this test is based on a method drawn from that used by the American Dairy Science Association’s Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest, wherein each cheese is first evaluated by a team of expert judges using an authorized list of descriptors to set a baseline evaluation against which the test-takers’ evaluations will be compared.