Tricia Teaches Taste

Students locate specific foods on a world map
Teaching materials for the unit

My great friend, Tricia Martin, of TasteMatters has been teaching as the artist-in-residence at Jackson Middle School in Portland.  I got to briefly observe her facilitate tasting stations, where the 6th graders puckered at grapefruit, complained about nori and enthusiastically dipped bread into butter.  I was invited to photograph the project and was thrilled to be a tiny part of this intriguing and enjoyable project.  More photos can be found here: New Tastes.

This unit on taste made me think of all the possibilities that food is linked to -- culture, community, family, agriculture, geography.  It is probably the all-time best back-door way to get to talking to someone, students and strangers alike.  The simple question of, "what's your favorite dish?" can elicit an oral history, a conversation, a debate, and -- if you are really lucky -- an invitation to that person's home for dinner.  I have been so lucky as to have had these experiences, rooted in that tiny, unassuming question, all over the world.

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