San Jacinto College group finds Taste of Italy tour to their liking
San Jacinto College's Culinary and Pastry Arts Club had the opportunity to taste genuine world-class Italian cuisine and learn food preparation techniques during a recent trip to Italy as part of the club's Taste of Italy tour.
According to the school's website, the group of nine culinary students, along with faculty adviser Sean Perrodin, visited several well-known historical Italian sites, such as the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, and participated in numerous culinary demonstrations as they traveled through Italian provinces. The trip was paid for by private funds and proceeds from fundraising events.
In addition to dining at various restaurants, the club visited a cheese factory, a factory that makes prosciutto and a butcher shop, where they learned about the process of curing meats.
They also observed pasta being made at the La Monfortina pasta factory, attended a chocolate class at Peyrano Cioccolato, toured an international culinary school called Apicius International School of Hospitality and attended a homemade pasta-making class.
Stacy Farren, president of the Culinary and Pastry Arts Club, said the tour altered her preconceived ideas about Italian cuisine.
"The genuine Italian food was not as heavily spiced as I had thought it would be," Farren said. "They use spices, of course, but minimal. Some would say the food was bland because here in America we do not let the natural flavor shine. We salt and utilize spices in such a way that the original flavor of tomatoes is hidden."
Farren noted that this experience supplemented what she is learning in class.
"The most important thing I learned was to never assume you know what a nation's genuine food will taste like, and do not assume you know how the food will be served," she said. "We went to places that the average tourist does not, which immersed us in their culture, and what we tasted and experienced was the most authentic available. The natural flavors of the food was notable in every dish."
For more information, call 281-998-6150 or visit sanjac.edu/areas-study#culinary-arts.
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