Friday, February 29, 2008

Culture Day At School

One day out of each semester we don’t have formal Spanish instruction. Instead, our teachers work very hard preparing classes to teach us about Central American culture. Today was Culture Day at our language school.

The students received hands-on instruction in topics including dance, fruit, sports, singing, cooking, and more. Mike and I signed up for the classes on cooking and fruit.

Our first class was cooking. We learned how to cook gallo pinto and platanos. I have prepared both dishes in the past, but, the hints and added nuances only guarantee a more flavorful product in the future. The gallo pinto (which is rice, black beans, onions, garlic, peppers and more all cooked together) contained more garlic and salsa de Chino (soy sauce) then I usually put in. The platanos, which can be prepared hundreds of ways, were fried in butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and stuffed with cheese….mmmm….que rico (how tasty)!

In our fruit class we learned about different fruits, their medicinal properties and the various ways they can be prepared. We learned about the local uses for some fruits we were familiar with, like coconut, papaya, watermelon, mango, pineapple and bananas. We also learned about some fruits we are less familiar with, like tamarindo, granadilla, guayaba, guanabana, and caimito.

Our teachers put so much effort into preparing for these classes, and it all paid off. What a great lesson on Central American culture.


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John and Sue Burch said...

Erin - Buenas Tardes, mi amiga! Can you give me the recipes for the dishes you learned about on Friday - we are seeing a lot more arroz and habachuela here and would love to have a great recipe -like the one you made - sounded mucho bien!!! Also for the plantains - John and I have had them a lot in resturants here in PR - but would like to try something at home. Greetings to Mike, Maddy, Cam and the McCanns! Sue