I subscribe to 8 different food magazines. I do not read them cover to cover, but I read those articles and recipes that interest me. I came across an article in Allrecipes Magazine, September/October 2015. The article is called “Taste Test.” The article, written by Benandbirdy, talks about how to get kids to try new tastes. Is it a coincidence that my last post was about getting kids to try new foods? I just love what the author said about getting kids to try foods by doing a spice taste test (putting different dried spices on a plate and having them dip apple slices in each to evaluate the taste), offering a little bit of several types of mustard and giving them vegetables to dip into each, providing pieces of different fresh herbs and having the kids dip in dressing, pour different vinegars into bowls and have them dip a piece of pasta in each and finally let them try all salty type of seasonings. What was interesting was that we had just taken my youngest to the Paso Robles Olive Festival in Paso Robles, California. We brought home several different types of olive oils and vinegars. I caught my daughter and her friend in the kitchen pretending that they were olive oil critics, judging each and picking a “winner.” I realized that this type of activity is just incredible for kids. It allows them to play with food and experiment in a casual atmosphere. I think that it could be difficult for a child, while eating dinner with the family to try a new food because of the pressure they feel from their family members. They may not want to hurt dad’s feelings because he made dinner and doesn’t cook often, or he/she might feel bad if they say they like a food that sister cooked when mom’s cooking skills are not the best. Sampling food gives kids a chance to try what they want to and what kid doesn’t like to dip??? My suggestion is to read the article or just make up your own taste test for your kids. You might even find a new food or condiment that you didn’t know you liked!
Here is a shout out to a great family farm called Pasolivo, http://www.pasolivo.com in Paso Robles, California. They have a fun tasting room where you take a plate and place small spoonfuls of any of their many spices and spice blends. They give you a huge bag of bread and you walk down a line of olive oils where you can pour a sample of each. You then take a hunk of bread, dip it into a olive oil or vinegar, and then dip it into a spice. They have eight different oils (basil, tangerine, regular olive oil blends) and nine different spices or blend (black lava salt, truffle salt, barbecue blend, lavender blend.) The kids LOVED sampling all the oils and spices. Beware: If you turn your kid into a foodie, IT WILL COST YOU!!! I should know. I have four kids who eat almost anything and stick up their noses at kids menus. You can also order products from them online. However, if you tour, you get to see the press where they cold press their own olives to make the oil that they sell.