Thursday, March 8, 2018

IB Learner Profiles and More-Than-Basic Cheese Tasting

Years ago I taught a 6-week class about cheese! I was reminded of that when R brought up bringing cheese for a cheese tasting in his chemistry class this week. This was our discussion...and it always comes back to those IB learner profiles at our house.


R: Mom, Thursday I need to bring cheese to my chemistry class for a tasting.
D: Oooo! What kind? Gorgonzola? Époisses?? So many possibilities!
R: No. Basic cheese.
C: What's 'basic cheese'?
R: Some kids have never had cheese other than on pizza.
C: How is that even possible?
D: They aren't risk-takers.

So, I bought a small wheel of brie and sliced up a baguette for him, reminding him that that was for chemistry class not his lunch. I was a little sad that he didn't think his current classmates would be open-minded enough to try some more exotic cheeses. 

But I thought I'd share the cheese tasting I hosted at ISM several years ago. Talk about caseophiles in training...those kids were eager to learn and taste more-than-basic cheeses.


The first week of the six-week sessions is always a little rushed for me. So, that time, I did a global cheese tasting; we nibbled, chatted, and observed. Six different types, eight actual cheeses. Some made with goat's milk, some made with cow's milk. Some raw, some smoked.


I have to say that I was wildly impressed with that crew. They were inquisitive and respectful and their palates adventurous. No one asked me for American 'cheese' and their favorites ran the gamut from the brie to the gjetost.


Out of the mouths of babes budding caseophiles... [I asked them to taste, rate, and come up with adjectives to describe the cheeses.]

Here's some of what they said...

Brie (France): buttery, creamy, delicious, yummy, very squishy, runny, good, soft

Honey Bee Gouda (The Netherlands),  made with goat's milk: goatsy, smokey, not so yummy, strong, not so good

Stokes Point Smoked Cheddar (Australia), smoked on a Tasmanian hardwood: delicious, awesome, strong, like ham, weird, and fishy

I'm curious to find out what other cheeses showed up in R's chemistry class today. And, even more curious, to find out what they thought. Stay tuned. And, now, I'm craving that smoked cheddar.

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