Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hot peppers for lunch

Yesterday's school lunch reminded me of one difference between American and Turkish children... the tolerance for hot peppers. Let me first describe yesterday's fairly typical meal. The main course was doner (chicken roasted on a spit and then sliced into bit-sized pieces), rice pilaf, mixed green salad, and ayran (yogurt drink). The condiment was little yellow hot peppers. It was my day to sit with the second grade and not only was I busy refilling water cups, I was running to the serving line every few minutes for more hot peppers. Granted, the addition of the hot pepper made the chicken much more flavorful, but it also set my tongue on fire. And here these children were eating the peppers like they were candy! I thought to myself that it must be a dare by the boys, but it wasn't everyone was enjoying the little hot peppers. I can't remember a time when I saw my American students eating lots of hot peppers.

Then I started thinking about the fact that I'm really happy I get lunch everyday because it's definitely my best and healthiest meal. And, I'm glad I now enjoy the little hot peppers. And, I thought about how little complaining about food I see from children and how willingly they eat everyday what is served: spinach, grilled eggplant, baked fish, tons of tomatoes, roasted peppers, etc. So, thank goodness for hot peppers!

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