In the Ethnic Foods class, students study all of the regions of the world. The course begins with “Why do we Eat the Foods we Eat?” This lesson was created to stimulate the ‘investigative minds’ of students, encouraging them to ask questions and seek answers. In the study of American Culture, each region is celebrated with an authentic foods lab. This project was created to get students to understand the influence of other cultures on our own American favorites.
A student recently asked me why scrambled eggs tasted different at their friends and relatives houses compared to scrambled eggs made at home. Great question! I decided to let my students conduct an experiment by preparing scrambled eggs with different liquids in order to discover the effects each had on the eggs’ appearance, taste and texture. Not only did this experimental lab get the students into the kitchen to teach them how to make scrambled eggs, but it was a great way to incorporate a little food science into the curriculum as well!
Ever notice how many different types of peppers are available in the grocery store? Not only are they vibrant to look at but they also contain different levels of spiciness or pungency depending on the variety. I wanted to expose my students to the characteristics of these unique vegetables giving them an opportunity to learn more about the various species of peppers or chiles, ways to cook with them and challenge themselves to see how the heat level changed the taste of a product as well as how much heat they could take.
How old are the cooking DVD’s or VHS tapes (ikes) on your shelf? I had the pleasure of reviewing Math Skills for Measurements by QuannaGourmet. LaQuanna Sparkman, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher took to creating her own videos after showing her fair share of dated videos that had students more focused on actors’ clothes and hair styles than content. LaQuanna has a series of cooking DVD’s that offer updated looks, great information, and a decent price.
High school students can be know-it-alls especially those who cook at home. However, this lab seems to keep everyone interested as it is rare to find a student, or a cook for that matter, that actually knows how to butcher a chicken. Of course some students are resistant to having to touch a raw chicken however with the right student pairing I’ve had luck keeping everyone engaged.
This lesson plan is a great way to have the students connect and relate to one another. Each student will find and bring in a favorite family recipe, or favorite recipe. The students will fill out a worksheet with questions and present them to the class. It incorporates culture, family, history, geography, self-esteem, and food.
It’s important for culinary students to learn how to make foods that cater to certain dietary needs or preferences. There is no doubt that many restaurants now and in the future will be more diet conscious and find it necessary to include menu items for people with food allergies and specialty diets. This is lesson allows students to prepare a delicious southwestern tasting veggie burger that is quick and easy to make.