During the week of 2-6 October 2023, researchers from BCC Innovation travelled to LEBANON to develop snack co-creation activities with students from the Collège des Frères Maristes Champville school. The BCC Inn team, composed of a chef and two researchers in the field of sensory sciences, conducted several cooking workshops in which the young students actively participated in the development of some of the snack prototypes proposed by the BCC Inn culinary development team. Cereal and nut bars, sesame biscuits, mascarpone muffins and carrot sponge cake were some of the snacks that the participants in the activities were able to make and taste.
For all the snacks, healthy ingredients typical of the Mediterranean region were used, also seeking simple cooking methodologies that would allow students to understand that it is easy to make snacks with different flavors and textures, but without giving up culinary tradition and the beneficial properties of each of the Mediterranean regions. During the day, the importance of the Mediterranean diet, the use of local and seasonal ingredients, and the importance of maintaining culinary traditions as part of the cultural richness of a country were discussed with the students.
After the elaborations and explanations provided by the chef and researchers, the students could give their opinions, provide new ideas for adapting the snacks to their particular tastes, propose ingredients, possible changes in appearance, flavor or texture, etc. Emoticons were used to collect opinions, a language that today can almost be considered universal among our young people and can help understand the differences and similarities in the various cultures in which the project is being carried out. The verdicts given to each of the recipes, as well as the general opinion of the culinary activity, will be given special consideration for the final touches that must be given to the DELICIOUS snacks.
In addition to the activities with the children, the BCC Inn research team had the opportunity to visit the school and see different activities related to the DELICIOUS project, such as the design of small gardens and plots in which children work with different fruits and vegetables. The experience was very enriching, both for the students and for the researchers themselves, who will carry out similar activities in each of the countries that are part of the project consortium