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Tuesday, 25th October 2011
In General Japan News,

Tokyo students offered a slice of French cuisine

Students in Tokyo aged eight and nine have received a lesson in fine French cuisine as part of a national strategy to revive children's sense of taste in a campaign named the Week of Taste.

Having originally kicked off in France, the lessons will be performed in 27 primary schools, featuring flavours from as many as 30 restaurants, in a bid to change kids' appetite for junk food, the Mainichi Daily reported.

The Japanese students learnt about the different varieties of taste humans' are equipped with, including sweet, sour and saltiness.

They were also informed of a traditional flavour dubbed umami, which is specific to the nation.

French chef Christian Le Squer, who works for a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris, offered the children a slice of his kouign ammann cake.

The typical Brittany dessert features a salty buttered pastry commonly associated with French cuisine.

It was not just about eating, however, as kids were encouraged by Japanese food educator Yoshimi Uchisaka to show appreciation to those who dished out the delicacies.

As the kids were urged to use their five tastes to fully experience the flavours of foods they were given to try, many aligned vinegar and miso soup to the aroma of wine and the sea, while they relished common salty flavours and chocolate.

Former head of the Japanese cultural centre in Paris, Hisanori Isomura, highlighted the integral role the programme played in reducing the growing trend of obesity, which is being witnessed in many other countries including the UK.

In France, the initiative was begun by voluntary chefs in 1990, who endeavoured to instil in children an appreciation for good food, which is still evident today.

Earlier this month, Japanese researchers discovered a new method for reducing the effects of diabetes by taking stem cells from the nose and transplanting them into the pancreas.
Posted by Susan Ballion  

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