What’s cooking?Student taste buds decide

By on May 25, 2011

By: MICHELLE REIFF Review Staff mreiff.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

Students consider the choices as their plates are filled with an array of food items which they will determine delicious or not. (Photos by Preston Whitcraft)Students consider the choices as their plates are filled with an array of food items which they will determine delicious or not. (Photos by Preston Whitcraft)

Last year’s taste-testing of school menu options went so well that Cocalico School District decided to once again let students help choose next year’s menu at the Student Council Food Show.

About 125 eager students were provided with an array of new items to try as plates with small samples were set up in the high school cafeteria May 17, complete with a score sheet given to each student to rate the products.

This year’s assortment included pork barbecue, corn dogs and a new breakfast option — snack waffles. As requested by students, some Asian choices, teriyaki chicken and tangerine chicken, were available this time along with two new wraps — vegetable and Southwestern, adding some healthy alternatives.

Chris Dunn, director of food service for Cocalico, said he’s continuing his goal of offering students as much variety as he can while trying to incorporate healthy choices.

"We’re introducing as many whole grains as the manufacturers bring in," said Dunn, who is more than pleased that companies are beginning to make foods that are healthy and still taste good. "Without sodium, things taste flat. They are out at food shows testing and then go back to reformulate, which costs them millions."

In light of trying to open the students’ minds, pierogies with a broccoli cheese sauce offered for sampling were actually whole grain. Even though the students were unaware of this while trying them, most preferred the other choices.

The Asian options received mixed reviews, the majority of students liked the corn dogs, waffles and the wraps were a bit hit.

"This event is great for all age levels because all the kids are going to say exactly what they think," said high school senior Erin Hess. "There were a lot of interesting things … surprisingly all delicious."

Riggin Dvarishkis, a Denver Elementary fourth grader, proved that even picky eaters were able to find something they enjoyed.

"There are a lot of things I don’t like, but I like the tangerine chicken," he raved. "It just tastes good!"

"I don’t usually eat food from many different countries," admitted Lilly Boronow, a second-grader from Reamstown Elementary. "I came here last year, but today they had a lot of new foods."

Boronow said that while the corn dogs and waffles were still her favorite, she also enjoyed the Asian choices.

Kassie Nichols, a Shoeneck fourth grade student, said she liked the waffles "cause they were sweet."

The scores will be tallied, and since the students are anxiously awaiting the results, Dunn plans to let them know which choices will make next year’s menu before school ends for the summer. More FOOD, page A11

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