This week, we had fun learning about France and the delicious science of emulsion by making made a traditional French Dijon Vinaigrette.
Welcome To France!
Click the Play button to hear Je Chante ("I sing" in French), one of the songs we listened to in class!
This week, we had the flavor of French culture in our classroom! In addition to finding France on our giant classroom globe and learning a French recipe, we listened to great French music.
EMULSION - WHAT TO DO WHEN FRIENDS DON'T GET ALONG
Lunch Kid came to visit our class again! He loves to sit with his friends at lunch, but he has a problem. His two friends, Olivia Oil and Aqua Bob can't stand each other! They try to stay as far as possible away from each other. Just like oil and water, they do not like to mix.
But Lunch Kid is such a good friend, he knows just what to do. Olivia and Bob both like him. As long as Lunch Kid sits between them, they can all sit together at lunch. The minute he leaves, they go their separate ways.
Chemistry in the Kitchen
Just like Olivia and Bob, oil and vinegar don't like to mix. But they taste so great together! Wouldn't it be great if you could get them to stay mixed together, so you don't have to keep shaking the bottle?
What you need is an emulsifier. Just like Lunch Kid, some foods are naturally good at bringing others together.
Mother Nature gave mustard seeds some natural chemicals that are released when the seeds are broken open. These chemicals bond with both oil and water molecules, so just like Lunch Kid, they bring them together! Mustard is made from mustard seeds, so when we add it to vinaigrette, it bonds the oil with the water in the vinegar, to form a mixture that stays together. This is called an emulsion.
Recipe - French dijon vinaigrette
French chefs and grandmothers have known for generations about the emulsifying powers of mustard! Now you, too, can make a salad like a French grandmother.
In class, we broke into teams to make vinaigrette. Kids added olive oil - mere dribbles at a time - to a mixture of vinegar and Dijon mustard. Just like trying to bring together friends who don't get along, it works best if you do it a little at a time.
Add some minced shallots and a little salt and pepper, and voila! You've got Dijon vinaigrette: deliciously simple and classically French.
Click here for the recipe to make French Dijon Vinaigrette for your next salad.
We ended class with a French-inspired salad buffet and more French music to complete the ambience. Kids chose from a variety of lettuces and toppings, and we learned how adding protein to a salad can transform it from a side dish to a main course.
Click the Play button to listen to more French music, and have your own Salad-Palooza at home!