Each Monday I teach a cooking class to a group of first through fourth graders at a local school. The focus of the class is on cooking healthy snacks and goodies, but it is also a way for me to start to teach them some fundamental cooking skills and concepts. This week I wanted to work with them on the idea of building flavor. So we started with a common ingredient, yogurt, and then made two sauces from it, one that was savory (tzatziki) and one that was sweet (honey, cinnamon, and vanilla).
Many (most) of the students were very skeptical about either one or both of the sauces and a few declared that it was going to be disgusting and that they wouldn’t eat them. I calmly reminded the students to please choose their words carefully (we have a rule in the class, “don’t yuck someone else’s yum”) and I asked that everyone try at least a tiny bit of each, even if it was just a lick. Some were nervous, but everyone agreed. So when it came time to try the two sauces I went around and put a tiny bit on each kid’s plate (less than 1/8 of a teaspoon). They had apples, carrots, and pretzels to dip in the sauces. And this is where some really cool things happened….