World Language Classes Team Up With Food Chemistry

Dr. Escobar’s Food Chemistry class joined forces with the World Languages & Cultures Department to plan a week-long culinary experience. Students had the opportunity to learn about and create international takes on a similar theme: pockets. A ravioli, pierogi, dumpling, empanada, or turnover may come to mind, but they are not always as simple to make or one-dimensional as we might think. To keep the holiday spirit alive and well, students finished the collaboration by making Aachner Printen, a traditional German Christmas cookie.

The menu for each class is broken out below: 

French: Bienvenue en France! In 40 minutes, these amazing Archmere chefs mastered the art of cooking “en papillote,” creating beautifully steamed mixed berries topped with homemade whipped cream. To cook in a packet or “en papillote,” simply place delicate foods such as fish, vegetables or fruit in a parchment paper or foil pocket, and cook them in the oven. This simple yet elegant method is quick and locks in the juices and the flavor. Bon Appétit!
Spanish: Over the course of two class periods, students collaborated to create delicious flaky beef empanadas. Using their teamwork skills, newfound cooking knowledge, and a lot of oil, students cooked up this tasty Hispanic food. Students also learned about the regional variation among empanadas, from Spain to Chile and beyond. Both fried and baked, the final product was a testament to the students' hard work and passion for good cooking. ¡Buen provecho!

Chinese: It was impressive seeing students use their teamwork to make Chinese dumplings in just a short period of time. The stuffing was prepared in advance. Students skillfully wrapped and folded the stuffing inside the wrappers. They cooked the dumplings in a lightly greased pan with water level above the dumplings until most of the liquid had evaporated and one or both side(s) of the dumplings turned golden brown.  
In this class, students were able to learn that dumplings with high-fat level had significantly higher texture and juiciness. In addition, the dumplings with a high-fat level store for longer periods of time.  吃得健康!

Ingredients: Napa cabbage x 2 heads chopped,  ground pork x 3 lbs (80% lean), shrimps (just a handful) chopped, cilantro x 1 bunch chopped, scallion x 2 chopped, salt and sesame oil.

German: Deutsches Weihnachtsgebäck. Today the Archmere chefs prepared the dough for a traditional German Christmas cookie Aachner Printen. According to the legend, these cookies were the favorite cookies of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor with whom the recipe was said to have been buried in order to keep it secret. The students learned how the spices used in the recipe entered the European culture, through travel for trade and, primarily, the Crusades. The traditional recipe contains no eggs and no fat and uses as a leavener potash (potassium carbonate). The students learned that the word potassium was derived from the word “potash.” The sweeteners in this cookie are brown sugar and sugar beet syrup. Sugar in Europe comes mainly from sugar beets and not sugar cane or corn. The dough we made today must rest for a couple of days in a cool damp place in order to roll it and bake it. After the cookies are baked they are very hard because of the lack of eggs and fat. Therefore before consumption they must be stored in a tin for a minimum of three days so that the sugar absorbs enough moisture to soften the cookie. Often a slice of apple is put in the tin in order to speed up the process. We wish you all Fröhliche Weihnachten und guten Appetit.

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