PRAGUE – Gazpacho and paella, two of Spanish cuisine’s most celebrated dishes, were just some of the options in school canteens in the Czech capital of Prague on Thursday.
Under the watchful eye of Cadiz-born chef Enrique Garcia, kitchen staff from 25 schools from across the country learned how to prepare and garnish traditional Spanish food.
Asked by EFE whether his country’s gastronomic offerings would win over the taste buds of Czech schoolchildren, Garcia was convinced that paella would be the dish to do so.
He wasn’t so confident about gazpacho, however, acknowledging it was “a completely different taste.”
“The mindset here is to always eat soup hot so it will depend on how we introduce the name (of the dish),” said Garcia, noting that what a dish is called is an important psychological factor.
If gazpacho were presented as a juice rather than a cold soup, he argued, “the brain completely changes its predisposition.”
“I like the idea of a juice because we don’t know if the children will accept it well as a soup,” said Renata Steckova, head of the kitchen at a school in Brno, the Czech Republic’s second largest city.
The workshop was organized by the School Canteens Association of Czech Republic (ASJCR) with the aim of expanding children’s horizons through gastronomy.
The initiative has already been tried with foods from Thailand and Norway, and is expected to include dishes from Mexican and French gastronomy in the future.