by Megan Connolly
This week the students of Mrs. Free’s 7th Grade Social Studies class at Rabun County Middle School learned about India through a culinary lense. A 7th grade Georgia Standard is to “analyze the diverse cultures of the people who live in Southern and Eastern Asia”. As a continuation of the class’s Global Culinary Series, the students were given a presentation on India’s geography, culture and history with a focus on how all three of those topics influenced the region’s culinary traditions. Spices and traditional dishes native to regions of India were introduced, giving them an understanding of the country’s immense diversity of food. The students learned about the various influences on Indian cuisine from the Mughal Empire as well as from British and Portuguese colonization. They also learned how various religious traditions have influenced diets in certain regions of India. The class learned how to make curried cabbage, an eastern Indian recipe. Locally grown cabbage was sourced for the recipe and while shredding cabbage, the students engaged in a conversation of how to think global and eat local. The students learned that even though we are learning about global culinary traditions, we can still utilize local ingredients. Mrs. Free brewed a pot of chai for the class to try and as the smell of chai, turmeric, cumin and coriander permeated the room, Mrs. Free’s students sampled the cabbage curry. Then every Food Corps member’s dream came true: they came back for seconds.