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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor

Vallarta Supermarket trip broadens culinary, cultural boundaries

As the Spanish II students stepped into Vallarta Supermarket, a variety of food products absent from mainstream grocery store inventories captured their attention ? including cow tongue and pig feet.

In an effort to familiarize her students with cultures studied in the textbook, Spanish II and III teacher Beatriz Foth organized a trip to the supermarket, Nov. 24.

“I wanted the students to see the great variety of produce from Central America that you can’t find at other stores,” Foth said. “I hoped that they would be able to realize that the Central American culture is more than just tacos and burritos. I wanted them to see other things about the culture that they didn’t know about.”

Established nearly 20 years ago as a small market, Vallarta Supermarkets expanded into a bilingual emporium with 30 locations throughout Southern California and the Central Valley.

The manager of the grocery store, Hector Agrevano, provided a tour of Vallarta’s unique and specialty products along with a brief history of the supermarket chain.

Agrevano’s presentation included fruits indigenous to Latin America, sugar canes, cactus leaves, large pork rinds, unique cuts of meat and signature Mexican liquor, such as tequila.

“This supermarket has many different specialty Latin American products that other stores don’t have,” Agrevano said. “We have more than other stores similar to ours, and our products are always fresh. People who aren’t familiar with Latin American culture will experience new things when they come to Vallarta Supermarket.”

During the trip, Foth required students to complete a worksheet about the grocery store’s decoration and selection. The bright walls resembled Mexican murals with tropical themes while palm trees adorned the checkout stands, creating a south-of-the-border atmosphere throughout the supermarket.

“Having to do a worksheet caused the trip to not be as good as it could have been,” Abel Carreon, ’11, said. “Instead of seeing the wonders of the store we had to do work and really pay attention. But even though we had to do work, I learned a lot about the food they have that I’m not familiar with.”

After the tour, students ate lunch at “La Isla,” the supermarket’s deli. La Isla offered more than 30 combo meals ranging from common Mexican foods to more unheard of dishes.

“Eating the food was my favorite part of the trip,” Rachel Guthrie, ’10, said. “It tasted really authentic and they had many different choices to choose from. They cooked it right there so you knew it was fresh.”

The group explored the grocery store following the meal. Many students purchased from the array of food products, such as authentic favorites and previously unknown items.

“I expected the trip to be a fun and new experience,” Ashlyn White, ’11, said. “It was good to get out of school and I was really looking forward to the ice cream that they had, because people said it was supposed to be very good. It lived up to my expectations.”

Although the majority of Spanish II students went on the trip, some declined to attend because of other class commitments.

“I’m disappointed that I didn’t go on the field trip,” Jessica Wagenman, ’11, said. “It seemed like a real cultural experience. I would have wanted to go because I’ve never been there before, but I had to stay to study for a test.”

While many students enjoyed the trip for the food, others appreciated the cultural aspect of Vallarta Supermarket.

“You could actually see what the culture is like because of the people around you and the products that are common for that society,” Guthrie said. “You didn’t have to imagine it like you would in class. It was hands-on: you could touch and taste the things you weren’t familiar with.”

For more information on Vallarta Supermarkets, visit the Fresno location at 4831 E. Butler Ave. or check out Head on its shoulders and Huge pork rinds. For more information on Spanish class activities and events, visit the May 1 article, Spanish III debuts musical masterpiece or e-mail Beatriz Foth.

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