ShareThis Page
Home

Making their own menu

| Saturday, Jan. 27, 2001

The pepperoni bread and the chocolate mousse were big successes, but reviews of the diet honey mustard salad dressing were mixed.

'There's no need for diet honey mustard,' said Bob Niziol, a junior at Brentwood High School.

But Jennifer Kelley and Jess Barton, seniors at Baldwin High School, gave the dressing made by R.C. Fine Foods high marks.

'You wouldn't think that it would be diet,' Kelley said.

Pepperoni bread, salad dressings, chocolate mousse, juice drinks, hamburgers, fish sandwiches and a variety of fried chicken dishes were among the items sampled and rated Friday by 60 high school students from Baldwin, South Park and Brentwood.

The food tasting event was organized by Eva Skalyo, Baldwin food service director, who began the annual event four years ago. Vendors always invite food service directors to food shows, but the students, who consume the food, don't get many chances to voice their opinions, Skalyo said.

Students are the customers, she said. 'There's a lot of things that they would like that I don't.'

'Chicken strips of fire,' Skalyo offered as an example. The kids love them. But for Skalyo, 'they're too spicy.'

Students were asked to rate the foods on appearance and taste, on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. They also were asked whether or not they would buy the product.

The student comments will then play a factor when each of the three schools purchase food.

Six food brokers - Foodservice Innovations, Classic Food Brokerage, Roos-Mohan Inc., Concept Food Sales, R.C. Fine Foods and Happiness is Homemade - participated in the event.

At the Food Service Innovations table, students got a chance to sample cheese-filled bread sticks with a salsa dip and 'Cornados,' which company representative James Pritchard described as 'a hot fresh unsalted Frito,' dipped in ranch dressing.

'Kids like to dip, kids like to eat with their fingers,' Pritchard said.

Kids also like spicy foods, said Linda Bento a representative of Concept Food Sales. Bento offered a variety of Tyson chicken products, including 'Stinger Wings,' 'Hot and Spicy Chicken' and 'Chicken on a Stick,' for the students to sample.

Skaylo said she and other district food service directors pay close attention to what students like when they plan daily lunch menus.

The student cafeteria at Baldwin, which is named The Purple Platter, offers students a standard school hot lunch as well as a salad bar and a food court where items such as pizza, cheeseburgers, french fries and juice drinks can be purchased a la carte.

Both Brentwood and South Park high schools have more traditional lunch rooms.

South Park does have a salad bar and offers baked potatoes with toppings, which is a very popular item, said Sarah Jones, a sophomore at the school.

'If they had food like this, (students) would buy their lunch every day,' said South Park Principal James Horner, who accompanied the students from his school to the food tasting event.

Several Baldwin students said they were particularly impressed with the Chocolate Bavarian with Raspberry Mousse from R.C.

'I'd eat this every day,' said Erin Trageser, a senior.

The mousse, which also is made in a hazelnut flavor, is made with iced water and is not only tasty but also nutritious, said R.C. representative Tony Morelle.

Students also gave high marks to the pepperoni bread made by Happiness is Homemade and the juice drinks from Roos-Mohan, but they weren't favorably impressed with a new product called 'Fruit 2.0.'

The flavored water product is made with a sweetener called 'splenda,' a natural sugar derivative, explained Paul Bastyr, Roos-Mohan representative.

Most students' lunchtime beverage of choice is fruit juice, even though at 60 cents for a small bottle, it is one of the most expensive items on the cafeteria menu, said Raul Jenkins, a Baldwin senior.

For some of the students who serves their lunch is more important than the food that is served.

'Mrs. Hirch is the nicest lunch lady,' said Mark Wroblewski, a junior and a member of the Brentwood football team. 'On Fridays, she gives us lucky pennies for the football game.'

Susan Schmeichel can be reached at sschmeichel@tribweb.com or (412) 306-4527.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me