Blindfold Taste Test Around the World
Objective: Engage students through their senses to discover new flavors, smells and textures. Introduce exotic fruits and vegetables.
- Chop and prepare a variety of fruits and vegetables (most grocery stores have an international produce section) **kiwi, jicama, mango, plantain, yucca, Japanese cucumber
- Cups or bowls for sampling fruits and vegetables
- 5 pieces of cloth to cover the eyes
Procedure: Divide students into teams of two or three. Give a sample of one fruit/vegetable to a blindfolded member of each group (allow a few seconds for students to feel the fruit or vegetable). Once all teams have explored the vegetable/fruit through their sense of smell and touch, begin the taste-testing. The first member of each team to name the fruit or vegetable earns a point for their team. Repeat the process, rotating taste-testers. Once the blind-fold taste test is complete, gather all students to participate in the side by side comparison. For example, compare the color, texture, and taste of exotic fruits. Discuss the similarities and differences between exotic vegetables and vegetables that grow locally.
Making Connections: Reveal the results of the blindfold taste-test. Discuss the most surprising discoveries about each fruit/vegetable. Have students recount the names and write a brief sensory description of their favorite new fruit/vegetable. Explore the region where the chosen exotic fruits and vegetables grow. What is the climate? How do people use the fruit/vegetable? What are other ways the plant is used besides eating?
** Further connections can be made by using a map to track the travel route of the fruit/vegetable to its country of origin. Critical thinking questions may include 1) brainstorming the environmental impact of shipping foods long distances, 2) the cultural impact, 3) health benefits?