Food Connects Us All
During a trip to Xi'an, I visited many places that inspired me and learned many things about China that I couldn't wait to teach my students about. One of the places in Xi'an that inspired this project was the Food Museum. This wasn't like any museum I had ever been to before. Walking around the little alleys full of people and delicious smells was a bit overwhelming.
The "exhibits" in this museum were little restaurants and take-away shops with glass windows so you could see the chefs and cooks doing their magic. Next to this window you could see a sign explaining the type of food they specialized in, the roots of this recipe and how it had changed on its trip to Xi'an or to China.
I was surprised by the many flavors and techniques that had emigrated to China through the Silk Road and how food reflected this change in the culture.
I reflected on the many recipes I loved and the ingredients I had always associated with the cuisines of my various heritages and wondered how trade and globalization had influenced them. I also wondered what were the origins of the ingredients that made my favorite foods. Sharing this curiosity with my 9 year old students is how this project came to be.
My students developed their research and presentation skills as they answered the multiple questions that this project generated and presented their findings to their peers. In addition, they got to share so much of their culture and their family traditions with the class. Food does bring people together and this projects was a great class building experience.