Enhancing Palates and Educating Children One Sample at a Time
The greatest challenge when introducing new foods to children, or adults for that matter, is simply in getting them to take that first bite. Over the last thirty days we have managed to take the Decorah Middle School students taste buds on a journey beginning in the streets of Mexico with Pueblo Street Corn and ending in Hong Kong with Shiitake Mushroom & Pork Pot Stickers. This was no easy task. How might we get children/adults to try Jamaican Jerked Chicken you may ask? By telling them it’s rabbit meat. No Joke!
Creating an environment where experimenting with new foods is not only encouraged but entertaining can leave positive lasting impressions on the young and old alike. All this was made possible with a grant obtained by Culinary Specialist Chad Elliott through The Chef Ann Foundation. Chad dished up 22 samples from countries known for their culinary traditions, each celebrating a different ingredient. With maps and photos students were able to explore the geography and history of a dish, along with their palates. The majority of the ingredients were purchased through our the Iowa Food Hub or picked from our very own school gardens.
A comment from one excited 7th grader, when eating a sample originating from France, “Sacré bleu! This is the best Pear Sorbet EVER!’