Herb tasting

A few weeks ago, we used our eyes to examine the different flowers and our noses to check the different fragrances of the blossoms. Today we decided to experience nature using our taste buds to sense the differences around us.

I topped up my collection of herbs, yesterday. We lost so many plants over the winter. I took a sample from each of these herbs, plus from some in the garden. The girls had familiar and unfamiliar ones to try. I labelled them up on a piece of paper, with a crib sheet to remind me what they were! We then went up to the orchard and sat among the falling blossom and daisies.

The two girls took it very seriously. They loosely identified quite a few of the herbs. They chose their favourites and described the general tastes. Some they recognised by sight, but still played along by talking about the taste. They also came up with ideas about how we can use them. I think they may be the only ones in the family enthusiastic to try chive ice cream.

For supper, we included some of the herbs in our meal: chives with the tomatoes, thyme and sage with the roast potatoes and lemon balm and coriander with the salad. At the table, they happily chatted about the uses, benefits and subtle differences in the tastes of the herbs.

I want to do this again with them. It would be interesting to do this with different types of apples or tomatoes. The list is, of course, endless. It might be fun to make it a blind tasting next time. This exercise really stretched their describing vocabulary and opened their eyes, or should that be taste buds, to new flavours. Neither of them bulked at trying something different.

Just in case you are wondering, the herbs were:

A.  Sage
B. Lemon thyme
C. Mint Eau de cologne
D. Pineapple mint
E. Coriander
F. Lemon Balm
G. Curly spearmint
H. Chives

I’m linking this up to The Magic Onion’s Friday Nature Table. For more nature inspiration, skip over there and have a look at the other contributions. So many great ideas in one place.

P.S. Check out my sidebar if you are looking for gardening supplies. There is a 10% discount. More on this offer to follow.

16 thoughts on “Herb tasting

  • Friday 21 May, 2010 at 4:23 am

    great idea! I’m definately going to give this a go with Ruby!

    • Friday 21 May, 2010 at 9:26 am

      I hope Ruby enjoys it. I’m hoping we can make some interesting food with herbs this weekend. It will be nice to cook with herbs again.

    • Friday 21 May, 2010 at 9:29 am

      It certainly sparked a lot of conversation. I’m hoping to show them that something can be tasty with herbs in it. I want to educate their taste buds before they get used to the cheap flavourings and salt found in some shop bought food.

  • Friday 21 May, 2010 at 9:16 am

    You have adventurous children, I’m not sure mine would have been when they were young. My son was the worst of the lot but now he’s a fantastic cook much more adventurous than my daughters, so you never know how they will turn out.
    Have a good weekend, hats and sun cream by the sound of it, oh and some of your home made ice cream no doubt.

    • Friday 21 May, 2010 at 9:20 am

      I’ve got both kinds of cream at the ready!

  • Friday 21 May, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    That’s a fantastic activity, Cheryl. The making of great memories too.

    • Friday 21 May, 2010 at 9:13 pm

      Thanks, Jodi. I hope they do.

  • Friday 21 May, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    This is a great idea. My eldest loves games like this. She calls them “taste textures” I think she’s going for “taste tests” , but you never know with her… We are going to have to do this with herbs. I never thought of it before!

    • Friday 21 May, 2010 at 9:16 pm

      I’m so glad to pass on an idea. Its simple, but gives them a chance to try something different and learn a little on the way.

  • Friday 21 May, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    What a way in incorperate all your senses into your learning! Such a great project!

    • Saturday 22 May, 2010 at 12:16 am

      Its great to encourage the children to use all their senses. They do it naturally, but don’t always have the vocab to express it.

  • Saturday 22 May, 2010 at 1:01 am

    What a lovely idea. My children are too young for that but it will go on my “idead for the future” box. We just literaly came back from the garden centre with some herbs to plant on our newly prepared garden. Can’t wait to actually use them in our meals.

    • Saturday 22 May, 2010 at 8:44 am

      I love cooking with herbs, too. I’m learning all the time.

  • Tuesday 25 May, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Such a great idea! I am glad you said about the crib sheet as I would really need it! thanks for sharing…

    • Tuesday 25 May, 2010 at 6:43 am

      Glad you like the idea. In the end, I didn’t need to crib sheet, but it was so nice to know it was there, just in case.

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