Menu makeover

Texas High students taste test foods to give input on possible cafeteria additions

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Photo by Lizzie Debenport

TISD menu development specialist serves food to students participating in the test testing. The school will use the reviews of students to determine a new menu for next school year.

Story by Nashita Kalam, News/Feature Editor

The air in the cafeteria fills up with the aroma of tangy General Tso’s chicken, cheesy pizza and macaroni and cheese as students line up at a table filled with serving trays of the different foods. They receive a plate filled with food and return to their seats. They carefully taste the foods and write down their thoughts on a sheet of paper. 

On Jan. 18, AP Ambassadors and Teach TISD members volunteered to taste foods and give  honest opinions on them at the Fusion Food Taste Testing event held in the cafeteria. However, not all members of the clubs participated.

“I sent out a Google Form to all of the AP ambassadors and Teach TISD students and the first students to reply were the ones that were chosen to participate in it,” AP Ambassador sponsor Lara Herring said. 

Although Herring organized the students taste testing the food, TISD menu development specialist Heather Oliver organized the actual event. She contacted the vendors and set up times with different TISD campuses. 

“We originally got with one of our vendors to send us some of their products,” Oliver said. “The vendors sent us samples so that we could test this stuff out before we purchased from them.”

The purpose of the event was to get the opinions of the students on what foods taste good or not. This will help them decide what foods should be on the menu next year and what type of food is the most popular. 

“I think this event will help a lot because it took a lot of our input,” junior Carly Hickerson said. “They can learn what we like and what we don’t really like that much.”

I think this event will help a lot because it took a lot of our input. They can learn what we like and what we don’t really like that much.”

— Carly Hickerson

Students aren’t going to be the only ones who will be impacted by this possible menu change. Cafeteria ladies will have to cook new foods in the kitchen. 

“It will affect [cafeteria workers] in the way that they have to cook for next year,” Oliver said. “It’ll just change the offerings that we have.”

Though TISD hasn’t had an event like this in a few years, after the success of this event, we can expect to see more events like this in the future. 

“I think this is the first one that we’ve had in quite a few years, but I want it to happen way more often,” Oliver said. “I would like to have it happen at least quarterly.”

Students enjoyed the event and the food. It was a great opportunity to try different foods while also making an impact on the school. 

“I thought [the food] was good, and I like the fact that they gave us different options to choose from. I thought that most of the options had a lot of flavor in them,” sophomore Jayden Manley said. “And I liked the fact that it wasn’t just one thing to pick from and that we had different varieties around the board from pizza to chicken.”