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Using cucumber slices to taste different types of salt.

"Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt."
- George Herbert, English poet

This week was our first classroom lesson with our new curriculum! The topic was salt, which proved to be a great way to introduce the concept of five basic tastes along with a bit of the science and history behind the mineral. Meadow, a salt and chocolate shop in the neighborhood, donated an array of great salts, like Kauai Guava Smoked and Molokai red and kids tasted each type of salt on cucumber slices while learning where salt comes from, what it does in food, and how your body uses it.

Then, the class whipped up a big batch of mashed potatoes and the kids used the salts to season their own bowls of mashed potatoes, tasting the difference as they added salt. When chef/instructor Julie Negrin asked the kids how these mashed potatoes compared to other mashed potatoes they have eaten, all the kids agreed that these were "MUCH better!" When she asked "Why?" they called out "Because we made them OURSELVES!"

Click on "Read More" to get the recipe for mashed potatoes we made in class.
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Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients
6 small Russet potatoes
coarse salt, such as Kosher or sea salt
1.5 to 2 cups whole milk, slightly warm or at room temperature
6 to 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
Optional: minced garlic, grated Parmesan, scallions

Directions
Peel, wash, and cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Cover the potatoes with water and season with salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain well and mash with a potato masher. Gradually stir in milk and butter. Season to taste with salt and add optional ingredients, if desired.

(Recipe adapted from The French Culinary Institute.)
 


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