Inspired by all the colorful varieties of apples in the market right now, we did our own apple tasting this week. There are a lot of lesson plans and educational exercises for apple tasting (google “apple tasting kids” or search on Pinterest — you’ll find a ton). You can make predictions, comparisons, even weave writing and graphing into it if you like. Maybe one day we’ll do a more scientific version of this, but for now we were happy just to keep it simple. We cut up our apples, labeled them A, B, C, D, E and captured a few broadstroke impressions as we sampled and each picked our favorite at the end. The kids absolutely loved it and it sparked some really fun and interesting conversation. My little guy has already asked when we are doing this again.
I always find it interesting to slow down to really taste something and to try to isolate the experience of each sense. I am also always reminded about how hard it is to actually explain what something tastes like beyond the basics of sweet/sour/salty/bitter/spicy. We were all able to hone in on the relative sweetness/tartness levels of our apples and the big textural differences, but the kids were much, much better at expressing some of the nuances of flavor and “essence” of each. I think it’s built into that freeform, creative thinking that comes so naturally to kids and that we seem to lose as we grow up unfortunately. One apple reminded them of a popsicle, another of applesauce, and another interesting description they they came up with was an apple that’s “mushy but it stays in place”. Kind of sounds odd, but I know exactly what they mean. [BTW our favorite were Honeycrisp (3 votes) & Ambrosia (1 vote).]
While we’re on the subject of apples, here are a few earlier posts that are worth checking out if you’re an apple lover:
- Apple Cider Syrup
- Raw Apple Muffins (a favorite for snack day at preschool)
- Slow Cooker Apple-Pear Butter