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Vallarta offers cultural experience, cuisine

To get the experience of the mexican culture, Spanish teacher Beatriz Foth, took her Spanish II classes to the Vallerta Supermarket to view the food and products not seen in most homes, Dec. 3. Foth has taken her classes to the supermarket in previous years making this the fifth annual trip. Vallarta is located at 3850 N. Cedar Avenue.

The first and fourth period Spanish classes were given a paper with questions on them, written in Spanish, to answer during the tour of the supermarket. Classes left during third period and were gone until the end of lunch. Traveling in a pack of 40 or more kids resulted in the group being split in two groups for separate tours.

Rosario Olmendo, a worker at the supermarket, began the tour with showing the students the different items found in the supermarket that one cannot find in any regular grocery store. Pinatas, tortilla holders with designs on them and intricately made piggy banks are all products that can be found in the supermarket.

To get the students more engrossed in what the tour guide was saying, Foth provided the students with questions to answer along the tour. Sophomore Lindsey Biehler found the questions inconvenient and a little strange.

“Some of the questions were a bit weird,” Biehler said. “Such as the one where we had to put how much the giant pok rinds cost per pound. It was kind of annoying to stop in the middle of the tour and write down answers, but it was fun. Overall, it was a lot of fun but it was awkward cause everyone was looking at us.”

There was a variety of foods to be viewed. The majority of students had never seen or heard of the different meats that were sold at the market. For sophomore Trevor Beal, seeing the different meats sold there was interesting for him.

“It was cool to see how the Hispanic culture uses the whole animal,” Beal said. “You would never think of using the tongue or the intestines of the animal. It was gross to me seeing all of that, but I would still try them.”

Jonathan Nyberg, ’14, had a positive out take on the riveting foods used in the hispanic community. Nyberg found the Hispanic people thrifty when it comes to their food.

“The Hispanics use all of the parts of the beef,” Nyberg said. “They are less picky then us and they use a lot of different spices. I didn’t try anything different for my meal but had nachos. I did try the agua fresca which was pretty good.”

With the diverse selection of food, Olmendo explains where the produce is bought. The harvest is a huge factor of what foods get delivered to the supermarket.

“The produce comes from all over,” Olmendo said. “From here, Bakersfield and even Los Angeles, the food gets delivered. It’s different depending how the harvest is. Such as right now, we have some pomegranates and persimmons. So if those things are not grown or found here, then we get it form other places.”

Foth observed the different aspects of the things the kids enjoyed during the field trip. For a few, it was the aroma of the supermarket and others enjoyed the different colors and the words that explained what items were written in Spanish. Foth’s hope is for the students to take more than the food from the culture, but to respect the differences from the Hispanic culture.

“I will definitely continue taking my classes to the supermarket,” Foth said. “I appreciate the different kinds of food they have, not just the food from Mexico but form Central America too. This allows the students to have a better understanding of whats out there besides the North American culture. The variety of people and the different kinds of foods they eat like the speacial cuts of meat that we don’t usually eat such as the chicken feet, the pork feet and cow tongue.”

Respecting the things God has made is something Foth continues to hope for her students to take away form this field trip; to not judge but to praise God for the different things he has made.

“We normally discard the things that the hispanic culture eats,” Foth said. “People actually use them for meals. Being able to not criticize or offend other cultures, like when you see something that is different from your culture, you have to respect their culture and not make faces or rude comments, but try to understand that God made us all different and to honor that. That can allow appreciation for variety of foods and the people in the culture.”

For more information about Vallarta Supermarkets, contact Juan Rico, store director at 559.476.3070 or via email.

For more news, read the Dec. 3 article, Annual Constitution test gives way to nerves, excitement.

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