La semaine du goût (tasting week) is a week-long event that French schools organise each year in October. That week is an opportunity to celebrate and learn about many aspects of food.
The Grade 9 and 10 students focused on chocolate this year. In their French lessons, they brainstormed what they knew about cocoa: its origins, its history, how it is cultivated, how it is transformed into chocolate, how it is used. As part of their business lesson, they looked into fairtrade, and in science, they were shown how to temper chocolate.
On Thursday 19th October, the students all travelled to Tain l’Hermitage to the cité du chocolat Valrhona. They took part in a workshop where they learned how to make “praliné” and got to tour the museum. But the best part was tasting all the different types of chocolate. Yummy!
Grades 1, 2, 3 and 4 went to an educational farm (ferme pédagogique et solidaire) in Ecully near Lyon on October 16th. This farm provides organic food and employs people in professional reintegration. It sells its products every Wednesday to the public.
This farm welcomes schools and has a big room where they teach about vegetables and their growth, about organic food and also about honey and bees. We were taught about bee hives, honey and tasted two different batches of honey. It was delicious.
But the main purpose was to walk around the gardens and taste some vegetables. We learnt about growing organic food, how biodiversity is essential for healthy growing and we observed how seeds become flowers then fruit. We talked about the diversity of vegetables, and deduced that sometimes we eat the fruit, sometimes the root and other times the leaf. The students liked the taste of fresh cucumber. Some of the leaves were very bitter, while others were delicious!
We reflected on the fact that fruits are different from vegetables because they grow on trees but some vegetables also have seeds in them, like fruits, and grow from flowers after they are pollinated, thanks to pollinating insects.
We also discovered that it is possible to grow vegetables in water instead of soil. Although it is an ancient technique, it is considered a new way to farm. Some vegetation inside the water is used as filters to make sure the water does not go bad.
All that fresh air got us hungry, so we had lunch on the site before going back to school. It was a nice way to make the most of the sunny October weather!
It was a great week overall. You can see photos of some of the activities below.