Salsa loaded with ginger, mint, and pineapple? Ravioli stuffed with peas and feta? Sure, why not!
Through Edible Island’s elementary school programming, students not only craft delicious snacks - they also test their creative instincts as they generate their own unique recipes. Classes empower children to develop and refine their taste preferences by encouraging a “choose your own adventure” approach to the kitchen. Rather than following rigid recipes, lessons are introduced as formulas, where students make choices about what particular ingredients they want to introduce to the equation. Along the way they learn basic food preparation techniques and explore the relationships between the food system and their community.
For example: SALSA = Salty + Sweet + Bitter/Pungent
This fall, classes at the Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School have reached students from Headstart (ages 3-4) through Grade 8:
Headstart children went on an apple picnic in their classroom, tasting three different heirloom apple varieties and learning the Great Big Apple Tree song. Two weeks later, their families joined them for a special apple pressing and cider tasting in the cafeteria.
The Magic Food Bus visited Grades 3/4 weekly this fall, where students had an opportunity to sample this season's bountiful harvest while preparing fresh veggie dip, kale salad, and pineapple salsa. We're grateful for retired teacher Whitney Davis, who volunteered with us during this class each week.
Students in Grades 5/6 have been exploring color and texture in their foods by making fresh fruit smoothies, "party salads" that combine different food groups, fresh vegetable spring rolls with rice paper shells, and homemade granola bars.
The curriculum with students in Grades 7/8 focuses on the five tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. Students started off by blind-tasting liquids that represented each taste, respectively: salt water, sugar water, lemon water, over-brewed tea, and chicken broth. Tastes were then combined in familiar ways; for example, mixing the bitter and sweet liquids (to make sweetened tea) and the sour and sweet liquids (to make lemonade). Proceeding with these five tastes in mind, students have since crafted fresh salsa, salad dressing, vegetable pancakes, and ravioli.