Today, I traveled to Traverse City West Senior High School to eat some fish tacos. And it wasn’t just because that’s one of the only places you can get tacos with fresh fruit and a salad for under $4.
I went to witness one of my taste test tested recipes, apple ginger slaw, being featured on the menu!! Note my excitement by the exclamation points. I am excited because this is the ideal result of FoodCorps cafeteria taste tests: not only for kids to try new things, but also for fresh, local dishes that are “taste test approved” to end up on the school menu. Here’s a photo of me, with Tom Freitas, the Food and Nutrition Services Director for the Traverse City Area Public Schools, looking excited to eat some slaw.
The fish tacos were topped with the fresh apple and ginger slaw, the recipe for which comes from Minneapolis Public School’s Culinary and Wellness Services. When we chose to feature the recipe in a taste test at Traverse Heights Elementary, which is also within Traverse City Area Public Schools, we chose it because it incorporated the Harvest of the Month, apples, but also some more interesting ingredients, like kohlrabi and fresh ginger. When you incorporate familiar ingredients into a recipe, such as apples, it often makes the kids more apt to try something new, such as kohlrabi.
At the taste test I conducted, which was held in October at Traverse Heights Elementary, over 73% of the students voted that they either liked or loved the slaw. I am not sure how the high schoolers would have voted after trying it today, but I can tell you that at least I loved it!