I was in Switzerland last week and I learned how the cows stay happy in the impressive little town of Gruyere. It’s the grass. The cows climb up the steep hills in the summer and feed on the mountain grass and natural forage, including flowers. What results is a unique taste that gives the cheese a special flavor with surprising notes like thyme, cumin, violet and narcissus. Since the milk is not heated before curdling (a feature of raw milk), the aromas are retained. When we taste the peculiarities of different cheeses, we are tasting the full story of the production of this cheese. This makes cheese tasting that much more interesting (and delicious)!
How we eat and what we feed ourselves matters too. When we sit down at a table to eat our meal, we are tasting how the food comes from the fields to the manner in which the ingredients were prepared by the cooks who thoughtfully created the dishes. Eating is an experience and it is meant to be enjoyed with others. This is truly a gift. We as a community can share the gift of food and eating with others.
As the new school year starts, let’s take opportunities to step outside of our normal routines and create new rituals and healthy habits with our food. Let’s be open to what might be different and embrace what is possible and new.
As we pack healthy snacks and meals, let’s make sure we balance our lunch boxes, plates and bowls. What do I mean by that? We usually have enough grains to pack, like bread, crackers, rice and pasta. But let’s not forget to add beans, eggs, nuts and seeds and small amounts of other animal products. Protein is essential for growth and development and is extremely helpful for concentration and focus. Happy new school year!