Spicy Surprise

Justin Persohn, senior, is shocked by the taste of a serrano pepper he tried in Mrs. Beier’s second period culinary class on August 24th. Beier had set up a table with three categories of peppers, daring the students to try the hottest (and safest) peppers she had during class. “If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen!” jokes Beier to her students.

Jasper High School’s Culinary classes, Taught by Mrs. Beier, shifted into cooking with their first official food task. Each class made their own salsa. It took a lot of prepping for the class to get to this task though.

Starting off the school year, the students began by cleaning out the colored coded kitchens, organizing and finding all the materials, and working on team building activities in order to start perfecting their rambunctious teams. After the teams were ready, they took their beginning quizzes in order to get to the salsa making.

The classes were instructed to bring food items such as tomatoes, peppers, and other basic salsa ingredients into class to select what would be used for each period. Luckily for the students, a fellow teacher kindly donated tons of pepper types for the class to use. With peppers out of the way, Beier was able to set up three different tables of peppers a day before the salsa was made. The first table held the lowest on the Scoville scale (spiciness level of peppers) such as bell peppers.  The second table held the regular, or medium, spicy peppers such as jalapeños. The third table held the spiciest peppers students were allowed to bring. This table had the serrano pepper on it only to be outranked by two others, the hottest being the habanero pepper.

Brooke Perkins chopped peppers for her group’s salsa in the fourth period culinary class on Friday, August 25th. The students were all taught how to properly use knives and how to sharpen them two days prior to making the salsa.
-Photo by Emily Huddleston

Friday, August 25th, the students finally got busy and started prepping the ingredients for the canning of salsa. This included chopping up peppers, mincing garlic, dicing onions, and prepping the tomatoes. Tomatoes were prepared by making an X in the skin of the tomato, then boiling  and peeling them. Lastly the tomatoes were chopped up and added to the giant pot for salsa. While the students were doing this, Beier (and the green kitchen of second period) made fresh salsa for the classes to enjoy while they worked hard. Beier also taught the class how salsa can have many varieties and be a healthy, quick snack to make. Each class finally got to taste their period’s canned salsa on Monday, August 28th. Although the recipes varied for each period,  they all turned out to be a treat for them to enjoy.


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