I am Madeline Hart, a student in Palma de Mallorca during summer 2019, session 1, and these are my reflections about the course I took in Palma de Mallorca "Mediterranean Cuisine in Spain".
Coming into the summer course I did not cook very much and I did not know how to cook. The cooking practicums inspired me to learn about cooking more and immerse myself into the Mediterranean diet.
We made many different meals in class from gazpacho to paella. I learned the cooking basics like how to cut vegetables and meats properly and how to fry food in a pan. After participating in this course I have learned many new recipes and Chef Toni has taught me the basics of cooking Mediterranean food.
When we were making gazpacho Chef Toni came over and was talking about the importance of olive oil in the Mediterreanan diet, while he was talking he poured a half of a bottle of olive oil into the soup. Not until that moment did I realize how important olive oil is to Mallorcan culture and tradition. He then explained the health benefits that olive oil has and how it changes the consistency of gazpacho and makes it smoother to drink.
I also noticed the stark difference between what I eat in the United States to what I have eaten and made for the last month in Mallorca. Chef Toni explained that the food is less processed here and there is less sugar in the food as well. I noticed that the Mallorcan dishes that we made always had at least one vegetable in it, because they are a staple in the Mediterrean diet. I found that interesting because in the United States vegetables are not the staple in our diet, we eat a larger volume of meat, rather than vegetables.
I thought that this course was very helpful. We worked in teams to make all of our meals making us closer as a group. My favorite out of all the dishes that we made we was tumbet which is many different fried vegetables like potatoes, eggplant, and zucchini topped with tomato sauce, which is usually eaten cold.