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Taste Education Classes (about 1 hour)
In this class we will learn about the different families of greens, and their varied tastes from bitter to sweet. The students will learn about different textures of greens and how to identify the leaves on a key. We will then make sweet and savory vinaigrettes and sample the greens with sliced apple or pear. Students will learn how to destem and tear various greens for salads and will use serrated butter knives to cut the apples and pears.
Apples come in hundreds of varieties, yet students may only be familiar with one or two. In this class we will give students a chance to taste a broader variety of apples side to side and we’ll compare the apples for both texture and taste. Students will use serrated butter knives to cut up the fruit for the tasting.
Students will learn how to manipulate the basic flavor of an ingredient by adding acid (lemon or lime juice), salt, or sugar. We will pick a couple of ingredients like cucumbers and apples, and see how the various ingredients change the taste, and students will record their findings on a tasting sheet.
In this class we will experiment with different herbs, walnuts or pine nuts,* garlic, salt and olive oil. Students will use a mortar and pestle to make the pesto, and will have a chance to learn how to develop a flavor they like. These can be tasted with quinoa, pasta, greens and/or vegetables.
* If students have nut allergies, we can use pumpkin or sunflower seeds or we can omit nuts altogether.
Kitchen Skills & Tools Classes (about 1.5 hours)
From Big to Small: Using Kitchen Tools to Make Salad and Vinaigrette
In this class students will learn basic knife safety skills and how to create different textures of foods by using various kitchen tools to cut up an assortment of vegetables and fruits. We will combine the cut produce to make 2-3 different salads and will make different vinaigrettes from scratch to serve with the salads so that students can experiment with different flavors.
*From Grain to Flour: Grinding Grains to Make Griddle Biscuits
Break out the elbow grease and have your students experience grinding grains (seeds) into flour! We will explore the tastes, smells, and textures of several kinds of grains, some of which will be gluten free. We will discuss the properties of gluten and what kinds of foods you can make with the different kinds of grains. After grinding the flours, we will make either griddle biscuits with syrup, jam, or fruit.
From Grain to Flour: Polenta
Students will learn about polenta and why it was a staple for the Romans thousands of years ago. We’ll make polenta by either grinding dried dent corn from your garden or with coarse cornmeal, and will serve the polenta with butter and cheese. While the polenta is cooking, we’ll prepare a sauce of in season vegetables to serve on top.
Food Mills and Strainers: Tomato Sauce and Tomato-Based Vegetable Soup Class
First we will process tomatoes through a food mill to get a tomato sauce. Then we’ll split that in half and one group will make a simple marinara sauce that we can serve on some pasta for tasting. The other group will chop vegetables and use some of the tomato sauce to make a tomato based vegetable soup. (We can also add some shredded cooked chicken to the soup if you want.)
*From Corn to Masa: Tamales and Salsa
Let’s take a trip south of the border and taste the delightfully earthy and heartwarming foods of Latin America. We will grind freshly soaked hominy into masa and make it into delicious tamales with cheese, green chilies and beans. Then we will taste them with a sweet and/or savory homemade salsa. If this class is taught in the fall, we can use your garden produce for the salsa and any hard-dent corn you grow for the masa.
*From Corn to Masa: Let’s go to El Salvador
In this class your students will get a taste of a traditional El Salvadorian dish called pupusas, which are masa pancakes filled with a variety of ingredients. In class we usually fill them with beans, cheese and vegetables. We will also make a cabbage slaw called curtido, which is traditionally eaten with pupusas.
Rolling Pins: A Taste of China
Take your students on a culinary expedition to East Asia! In this class there we will make and roll dough to create scallion pancakes that we will top with a ginger-cabbage slaw that we create from scratch
*Rolling Pins: Buon Giorno Italia
Want your students to have a taste of rustic, Italian cuisine?! In this class we will make homemade pasta from scratch and roll the dough out to cut fettuccine by hand. There are several options for the sauce: we can make a freshly ground pesto, or a sauce of garlic, olive oil and greens, or a simple tomato sauce with veggies.
Rolling Pins: Flavors of India
If you choose to take your class on a culinary trip to India we will make red lentil soup and chapattis. Every student will get to roll out his or her own chapatti and we will make the soup together and learn about legumes and the origins and nutritional properties of different kinds of grains.
*classes marked with an asterisk may take slightly longer