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Tasting Notes

News from TasteWise Kids & Days of Taste Maryland
Issue 3, August/September 2016

Today's Special : What's New

Although we still have a few weeks of summer left, we are getting ready for an eventful fall. We are busy planning for Days of Taste to start in mid-September (see below for more information), finishing preparations for Farm to Chef Maryland (mark your calendar for September 26th), meeting with new stakeholders to talk about future initiatives, and setting priorities for TasteWise Kids that fulfill our mission. If you are interested in getting involved, please let us know.

We are excited to share that there is now a TasteWise Kids Endowed Scholarship at Anne Arundel Community College. This scholarship is available to students in their academic pursuits of a degree in hotel/restaurant management, baking and pastry arts, culinary arts, or hospitality business management. Application instructions can be found here

Main Courses: Days of Taste Program Update
Planning for Days of Taste this fall is underway, starting with the volunteer breakfasts later this week (see Upcoming Events below). This fall, over 1,500 fourth graders in 16-20 elementary schools in Baltimore City and Howard, Harford and Baltimore Counties will participate in Days of Taste.

The schedule is not finalized, but several schools new to Days of Taste – Kipp Harmony Academy (Baltimore City), Hampton elementary (Baltimore Co.) and Churchville Elementary (Harford County) – will be included, along with long-time Days of Taste schools such as Barclay, Commodore John Rodgers and Govans in the City, and Bollman Bridge, Deep Run and Thunder Hill in Howard County. The complete list of Days of Taste schools for the semester will be posted by Friday, September 16th at

To maximize the positive impact of Days of Taste on students, the three-morning program is tailored to coordinate with other initiatives at each school. This semester, we are working with several schools to help them fulfill their Wellness Policy, according to standards set by the MD State Department of Education. We are collaborating with food & nutrition services, and health and science departments in each school system, with Strong City Baltimore at several City schools, and with other community organizations – all with the goal of giving students a strong, consistent message to “enjoy healthy eating.”

To end on an amusing note...we will continue to offer the take-home salad kits at many schools this fall. The kids’ comments and drawings about preparing salads with their parents have been wonderful. One student wrote: “My parents loved the salad I made at home. They also loved how they had a day off of cooking. It was like our roles of life were reversed.” See the drawing below for insight into how things played out.

If you are interested in participating in Days of Taste this fall, or would like more information, please e-mail Riva Eichner Kahn at


Dining Out : Upcoming Events

Days of Taste Volunteer Breakfasts
In only a few short weeks, the Days of Taste will be launching in area schools again! We can’t do this without volunteers. Want to learn more or sign up? Come to one of the two Volunteer Continental Breakfasts being held this week. Both new and experienced volunteers are invited to the breakfasts to learn about Days of Taste this semester and the role of volunteers each day.  Schedules at all schools, and all participating chefs and farms, will be discussed at both meetings.

Volunteer Breakfast Dates:

Wednesday, September 7th | 8:30 - 10:00 AM
Eggspectation / 6010 University Blvd, Ellicott City

Friday, September 9th |  8:30 - 10:00 AM
Donna’s, Village of Cross Keys / 5100 Falls Road, Baltimore

Click here to register for either breakfast.

Can’t come to a breakfast but want to learn more? Email Riva at

Farm to Chef Maryland 2016
What's that buzzing noise you hear? It's the BUZZ that this year's Farm to Chef Maryland event is gathering all over town! What is everyone talking about? The AMAZING roster of local food talent appearing at this year's competition. This year's line up of competing Farms, Chefs, and Beverage participants has been posted on the event webpage and we're highlighting teams daily over on our Facebook Page. The culinary event of the year is less than three weeks away and ticket sales are really starting to fly. Great news for our event beneficiary, Tastewise Kids, but urgent news if you haven't snagged your ticket yet! This event almost always sells out and tickets are not sold at the door, so get your tickets today.

In the kitchen with...

This month we are highlighting Deb and Carrie Buppert, farmers who guide Days of Taste students at Bupperts Farm, their fantastic farm with greenhouses, acres of crops and flowers, bees, a store, and even goats for the kids to feed. They have hosted hundreds of kids through Days of Taste for many years, and do an amazing job.

How are you involved with TasteWise Kids(TWK)/Days of Taste?
We host groups of students at our farm during the spring and the fall.  The children come out to the farm to get a deeper understanding of how vegetables are grown.  

What is your job/how are you involved in the food scene in Baltimore?
We are farmers and educators.  We sell our produce at the Baltimore Farmers’ Market and we supply some of Baltimore’s restaurants with our produce as it is in season.  

In your opinion, what makes Days of Taste and TWK so special?
Creating new perceptions of food: when a student comes to us and tells us that “asparagus is gross”, and then they are brave enough to taste it straight out of the field, more often than not, they can’t believe that they like it; and they want more.  We love that!

What is your favorite vegetable?
Wow!  That’s too hard to narrow down!  It depends on the season.  Asparagus in the spring, cucumbers in the summer, and pumpkins in the fall… and kale ALL the time.

If you could travel to any city in the world for a "food trip", where would you go?

What is your favorite thing to cook at home? 
Shakshouka – it’s simple, filling, and has such depth of flavor – summertime comfort food.

What is a favorite food related memory from your childhood? 
Mom’s summer spaghetti – made meatless with summer squash and mom’s homemade tomato sauce!

Chew on This

With back-to-school time upon us, it’s a good time to think about school lunches. Some of us may have very vivid memories of school lunches of the past...mystery meat, the joy of pizza day, and of course ketchup being considered a vegetable! 

Luckily for today's students, their options in the cafeteria are improving, especially when it comes to fresh and nutritious foods. In fact, Maryland ranks 5th in the country for amount of local food served in schools according to the USDA’s Farm to School census.

Another thing to be proud of - Maryland was the first state in the nation to have every public school system participate in the Maryland Homegrown School Lunch week, September 19-23 this year. During this week, schools and districts highlight the use local foods and share fresh, local food with students. More details:

Want to know what your kid is eating at school? Find school menus, including calories, fat, and other nutritional information at

Food for Thought
From Civil Eats
Why Farm-to-Institution Sourcing is the Sleeping Giant of Local Food:  
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