On Monday, 20 June, students from the Year 10 Spanish elective class and Year 11 Spanish Beginners/Continuers courses participated in a cooking class delivered by their teacher, Ms Quintana, in Spanish.
Their task was to make the popular meat pasties known as empanadas, a few side salads and a dessert pastel de manzana. They also sampled a beverage which originated in the Andean region of Peru called chicha morada made from purple corn.
Eating is one of the most significant social rituals in Hispanic culture: not only is food shared, but life is also shared with family and friends. It’s not uncommon to see a crowded table at a family celebration, hear the hearty laughter and exchange of many stories, and the acknowledgement that food always tastes better when shared in good company. This was exactly what took place amongst the students in this cooking class.
Students had the opportunity to learn about food weights and measurements, follow a recipe, and implement safe practices in the kitchen when using the various utensils and cooking equipment, not to mention building their language skills and culinary expertise. The students demonstrated outstanding team work and were very focused on ensuring they completed all tasks before the bell rang, so that they could sample the fruits of their labour.
Due to time limitations, we could not experience the Spanish custom of Sobremesa, whereby after clearing the table, everyone engages in long conversations on topics of interest. Nevertheless, the students thoroughly enjoyed the practical experience in company of their peers, and might even surprise their parents by offering to prepare a meal (in the not-too-distant future) for the family, and even clearing up at the end!
Ms Priscilla Quintana
Head of Languages Department