FOOD MAP

“I came, I saw, I ate.” – The Story of a Modern Tourist

Are you looking for a creative project idea?

Here’s a yummy project for your students that will have them do some research and describe the taste of their country.

Nowadays, you don’t have to leave home to explore the world. You can indulge your curiosity by immersing into online environments where you can experience the history and culture of other places all over the world. You can see the sights and colours and hear the sounds of any place. However, a fundamental part of our sensing the world is still missing; modern smell/taste-o-vision solutions to introduce us to new flavours are yet to be developed.

If you were asked to describe the taste of your country, what would it taste like? Sweet, sour, spicy? Pršut-y? Our foods may tell a fascinating story about our history and national character (for upper-intermediate students, this TED talk may be a great way to introduce the project; or try kids-try-food-from-around-the-world videos for lower-level students).

Step 1. Split your students into small teams and ask them to think of their top 5-6 national dishes that every tourist should try (1 or 2 dishes per student). Ask them to check the  TasteAtlas – are their dishes featured there? (If they come up with something that has not been added yet, they can contribute to the website after they complete the project #bringyourclassroomtotheworld).

Step 2. Once they’ve selected the dishes, get the students to search the Internet for some ideas:

  • Does it have a unique name? What does it mean? Does it have a story? (Sometimes diving deeper into etymology may lead to quite interesting discoveries. For example, did you know that the word ‘tea’ comes from Chinese ‘t’e’ (Amoy dialect), which corresponds to Mandarin ‘ch’a’? The English word ‘tea’ (just as in French, Spanish or German) derives from the Amoy form (through the Dutch East India Company that introduced the leaves to Europe). Meanwhile, Russian chai (just as in Serbian, Persian, Greek, Arabic and Turkish) all came overland from the Mandarin form. Now, whenever you hear ‘tea’ or ‘chai’, you will know how it got to the country.)
  • How is it made? What are the main ingredients? (Are there any videos on YouTube showing how the dish is made (#yousuckatcooking)?
  • What does it taste like?
  • Are there any similar dishes in other countries? 
  • Where and when should one try it? Think of a particular part/place in the country and an ideal season/time of the day.
  • What do you love about it?
Step 3. Present your dishes. Ask the students to make their ‘food map’ and present it to the class.

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Looking for more project ideas? Check the Insights to English website.  There are some amazing ideas there!

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