Students in the Writing for the Media class were tasked with trying out new food and writing about their experiences. These are their stories:
Cameron Kaneshiro (’18)
I am not a very big fan of Hawaiian food, especially not lau lau. To me, it just smells bad. Sadly, I am the only person in my family who doesn’t eat it. Pork wrapped in taro leaves? That may sound delicious to you, but definitely not to me. However, because I had to try something new for a class assignment, I decided to try lau lau when my family was having it one night.
I had the lau lau on a plastic plate because I didn’t want to do the dishes. Could it be any fancier? The dark green mound rested on my plate with a side of white rice. The scent of the lau lau wasn’t very pleasant, and the longer I waited to eat, the less excited I got. After cutting into it with much effort, I finally got a little piece off. With the tiny piece of pork fully wrapped in bits of taro leaves, stabbed through by my fork, I took my first bite. Unfortunately, the leaf was very chewy rather than soft. I would have to say, though, that the taste was acceptable. If the leaf was softer, I might have even liked it even more. The pork and the leaf together actually made a good mix. The smell, however, definitely didn’t fit with the taste of the lau lau. Overall, it was better than I expected.
After finishing most of the lau lau, I ended up liking it. Hopefully the smell will grow on me. I believe that if you never try things, you’ll never know the outcome The outcome of my lau lau eating experience surprised me and I think everyone should give it a try if they are put off by the smell like me.
Natalie Kwon (’18)
I’ve always wanted to like tea, but I simply couldn’t stand it. I’ve always wanted to be able talk about tea with other people, have a favorite tea, and take advantage of all of its de-toxing benefits. I remember the first time I drank it: I was six. I was eating at a Chinese restaurant with my family. The room was freezing, and in desperation I poured myself a cup of hot tea and took a sip. It wasn’t sweet like soda, or refreshing like cold lemonade; it was just bitter. I made a face that was more scrunched up than a pug, and decided that it was better to freeze than to have that gross taste in my mouth again.
Eight years later, I figured maybe my taste buds have matured and tea might actually taste a little better than my last experience. I chose to try milk tea, since it is a little bit sweeter. I poured the tea powder into the hot water, and immediately a strong bittersweet aroma hit me in the face, bringing me back to the unpleasant day in the Chinese restaurant. Hesitantly, I mixed the powder in and took a small sip, cringing a little, but luckily not resembling a pug. It had a nice light creamy flavor at first, then the acerbic taste of tea after, which was not so nice. Overall the milk tea was not too bad, considering that it wasn’t from a bag of tea leaves and was filled with sweeteners.
I continued to slowly sip the drink, because taking a normal sip caused the tea flavor to become stronger than the sweetness of the cream. It was hard, but I was going to finish this cup of tea. I chugged the tea down, and it tasted so bitter that it triggered my gag reflex. It was unpleasant, but I felt accomplished since it was the first cup of tea I have ever finished.
Despite the ordeal, I can still imagine myself being able to relax with a healthy cup of tea instead of something sugary like cocoa. Trying to drink tea is a microscopic part of my life, but it’s the small things in life that count, right? Whether it’s next month or eight years from now, I will keep trying to make it my ‘cup of tea.’
Kuulei Rodby (’16)
This Wednesday I willingly tried mayonnaise for the first time in years. The last memory I have involving this concoction of eggs and vinegar was when I was a young girl. Upon tasting the first bite of a ham sandwich, I rudely spit out the sandwich and sprinted to my kitchen sink to rinse my mouth out. Since then, I haven’t eaten anything with mayonnaise and have refused to eat anything containing even a drop of it. But my tolerance for foods I dislike has grown in the past eight years.
Recently for dinner, my mother made chicken, and I thought it would be a good idea to try it with some mayonnaise.
Seeing the colossal jar of it set aside on the dining room table was slightly intimidating. I spooned some out and placed it at the very edge of my plate because I hate when my food is mixed.
This time, I found the mayonnaise to be palatable, but I could barely get past the first bite. It tasted absolutely revolting, but I managed to swallow and proceeded to guzzle down a gallon of water. When my parents asked me what mayonnaise tasted like to me, I was at a loss for words until I realized: Mayonnaise, to me, tastes like pure fat. That is why I find it to be the most disgusting food I have ever tasted. Butter and food dripping with oil are also things I find repulsive, but let’s save those for next time.
Jaryd Sugihara (’15)
“Mother, I need home lunch,” I said on the days leading up to the recent all-school chapel. I was in need of a simple lunch to eat amongst my peers and elementary students. When she responded and asked, “What do you want to eat?” I was suddenly dumbfounded. What do I want to eat? What a first world dilemma.
I left the solution to the will of my parents. Whatever they ended up getting for me, I wouldn’t mind eating it.
They brought me a BLT sandwich on focaccia bread from a small cafe near their office building in town called 1132 Cafe. Like the cafe it was made in, focaccia bread was new to me. It seemed like such a fancy type of bread—seasoned with olive oil and herbs, and baked in an oven like its cousin, the pizza—compared to the usual wheat or white.
After taking my first bite into this super bread, I realized that this was the Captain America of breads, altered to be superior. All of the flavors, salty and herby, came together together to solve my first world problem.
Trent Tsuzaki (’15)
By Saturday, I had forgotten about my teacher’s assignment of trying a food that I never ate before. My irresponsibility had consumed almost two whole days and thus prevented me from finding something exotic such as opihi or lomi salmon. Thankfully while I was at a family party, I saw Cappuccino Chips, which was a new food item that my Writing for the Media class had talked about. Lay’s, the famous chip maker, held a “Do Us A Flavor Competition” where people could submit flavor ideas and win big money. Cappuccino Chips was shortlisted as one of the four new flavors; the others are Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese, Wavy Mango Salsa, and Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger. I had a short chuckle once I saw the chips since it’s common nowadays to try new foods, but the thought of tasting potato with cappuccino flavoring didn’t make sense. But why not give it a try? Unlike the strong taste of seafood, chips should be harmless (sorry, no foreshadowing here). Under the large brown letters “CAPPUCHINO” on the chip bag, it says “Submitted by: Chad Scott.” It sounded like an experiment to me but I went ahead to see how it tasted.
I was pleasantly surprised that it tasted more like a coffee cookie than a potato chip. However its taste wasn’t very strong, and at least Lay’s was smart enough not to make it salty like most of its chips. Adding salt would only take away from its sweet flavor. Unlike the Original Lay’s potato chip which easily crunches, this one took a little more effort to chew in my mouth. It’s was still crunchy but think of a thin cookie chip. It just needed stronger flavoring. It’s weak taste didn’t absolutely strike me, unlike flavorful foods like chocolate that immediately makes its presence known in my mouth.
The verdict? It’s mediocre. I think that it’s just another fad which lacks enough personality to survive the harshness of food critics. I’ve always craved Fritos, and it will remain be my number one choice.
However, I’ll take some time to appreciate the fact that Lay’s at least is trying something new. They may be targeting coffee lovers, but I can’t imagine anyone eating these chips on a daily basis since chips generally are junk food. Ultimately, it’s another attempt at making tasty junk-food. I grew up to love the Classic, Barbecue, and Sour Cream and Onion chips, which always accompanied my sandwiches when I was younger. I don’t see how Cappuccino Chips are a good complement to anything.
Check out Reviewing New Food #2