On the 22nd of September, Angélica, Marie, Tuğçe and I were invited at a vocational school that is part of a group of schools named “Bolesława Prusa”, in Pułtusk. The aim of our workshop was to introduce and cook some culinary specialties from our countries with a group of students, who are training to become cooks. We started off the session by telling them a bit more about our country’s food habits, as well as about the Colombian, Turkish and French dishes that we were going to cook together during the next three hours. Each of us was in charge of a small group of four or five students and after splitting the class, we started to cook. Here is what was on the menu of the day for each country!
Angélica introduced her group to Colombian corn pancakes, called “arepas”. To go with those pancakes, her students also learned how to make “guacamole”, an avocado-based dip. Finally, they also discovered how to prepare a typical drink made of sugar cane, “aguapanela”. Buen provecho!* Turkey:
Tuğçe taught her group how to cook “börek”, little savoury pastries made of a thin dough called "yufka" and filled with potatoes and herbs. Her group also learned how to make “biber dolmasi”, green peppers stuffed with rice and spices, as well as “ayran”, a drink made of yoghurt. Afiyet olsun!
As Marie and I are both French, we decided that one group would cook salty food and the other one sweet food. Thus, I showed my group how to make a “cake au jambon et aux olives”, a typical ham and olive savoury cake. Being from Lyon, I also introduced them to a culinary specialty from my city, “la salade Lyonnaise”, a mixed salad made of lettuce, bacon, croutons (grilled bread pieces) and poached eggs.
As for Marie’s group, they learned how to bake “chouquettes”, French little choux pastries springled with pearl sugar and were introduced to one of Marie’s family favourite desserts: “la tarte aux poires renversée”, an upside-down pear tart named that way because the dough is added on top of the pears and not the contrary. Weird, we know, but still delicious! Bon appétit!
It was so much fun teaching the students how to cook and bake dishes very different from what they are used to. They were very motivated, curious and eager to learn and it was a very enriching session, for them but also for us. They learned new recipes and sometimes discovered unusual flavours, while also practising their English.
As for us, we learned how to organise a group, how to use mimes, body language and other solutions to overcome the language barrier that sometimes appeared during the session, as well as how to deal with problems on the spot and how to find solutions all together. We also learned about the cooking techniques they use and some very useful Polish vocabulary related to kitchen. We were very proud of the results of that mutual exchange and of course, the end of the lesson was saved for tasting the various dishes, a moment enjoyed by everyone!
We would really like to thank the teachers and the students who invited us; it was such a nice and convivial intercultural moment, during which we all learned from each other. We will be more than happy to come back at any time!