Gastronomy Course Spotlight: Food and the Senses

DSC01788Food and the Senses is one of the 4 required core classes for the Gastronomy program, and is the best one that I’ve taken yet.  Classes always had a small sensory experiment, which included everything from blind taste testing to dark chocolate and red wine pairings to molecular gastronomy demonstrations. The hands-on, scientific aspect of the course was a refreshing change of pace from other classes in the program, which are often very focused in anthropology.

Like most gastronomy courses, the final project was open to pretty much whatever we wanted to study. We just had to write about a food topic and how it related to the senses. I wrote about improving the sensory appeal of vegetables, while my classmates covered topics as diverse as the rise of popularity of comfort food, and the sensory aspects of Jewish culinary traditions.

nettaThe class was taught by Netta Davis, who graduated in the first class of the BU Gastronomy program when it was created. From living on a vegetarian commune to working as an assistant to Julia Child to being a food writer in Spain, Netta has an entertaining anecdote for every culinary situation, and has the perfect personality to teach such a hands-on course. Admittedly, I am a little too Type-A for her free spirited teaching style, but I can’t say that I didn’t love the class.

– Kelly

Image via BU


Course Spotlight: Effective Writing in Public Communication

Social Change Writing

Although the BU Gastronomy program offers a multitude of courses, the class that caught my eye for the first summer session this year was actually at Tufts University, in the Urban and Environmental Planning program. Louise Dunlap specializes in social change writing, which is why this course stuck out to me.

dunlapLouise Dunlap got her start during the free speech movement of the 1960’s. Since then, she has been giving activists the tools they need in order to communicate with the public effectively. The class centered on one main writing project that we worked and reworked each week using the tools from Undoing the Silence. One of the Louise’s former students had used this project to write the business plan for Equal Exchange. A tough act to follow, but inspiring nonetheless!

photo-25My project was focused on how dietitians can help reduce hunger by supporting sustainable food systems. We also had a short letter to the editor assignment, as well as journal and freewriting activities. The class was held in a picturesque red home on the Tufts Medford campus, which was the perfect setting for an intimate class of nine. If you are interested in social change writing, then check out a copy of Undoing the Silence.

Image via Undoing the Silence

– Kelly