Taste Week is being organised for the fourth time in Norway. During the first week of November, 40 schools will be visited by taste teams, and the week will be officially celebrated on Wednesday at Måltidets Hus.
About Taste Week: The idea of Taste Week originates in France. "Semaine du gout" as it is called in French is a well known concept all over the country. It was first organised almost twenty years ago. Every year, thousands of French chefs and other food lovers take part in a huge number of events to spread the love of food and knowledge about taste. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food is collaborating with the French Cultural Centre in creating various activities on the theme of the taste of food during the first week of November. The Norwegian side is organising visits to 40 school classes by its own taste team. The French are organising visits for 6th and 7th year pupils to bakeries and restaurants in Oslo. The event has been devised by the food information offices, Nofima Mat and The Norweigan Chefs’ Association on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
The educational programme Taste on the Timetable is an important part of Taste Week and different taste teams are visiting 6th year pupils around the country.
Want to increase knowledge about taste
The Nofima taste teams will visit schools in Follo, the Stavanger area and Tromsø. The pupils will be able to taste the five basic tastes (salt, sweet, bitter, sour and umami), learn to distiguish differences in foods of different qualities and describe the tastes.
"The idea is to teach the children more about taste, so that they will be more conscious of what they’re eating. An important part of this learning process is to encourage the children to describe what they are tasting. We Norwegians haven’t learned to describe taste in the same way as have the French, for example. They have a much more highly developed food vocabulary than we have here in the north," says Josefine Skaret, who heads the sensory laboratory at Nofima Mat.
The aim is to promote a love of food and a thirst for knowledge
6th year pupils have also been invited to the official celebration of Taste Week at Måltidets Hus in Stavanger. Helge Bergslien, managing director of Nofima Norconserv, is giving a presentation on "Sensing" – with taste samples. The children will then be given a taste experience tour around the building, visiting the sensory room, the sensory laboratory and other highlights.
It is not only schoolchildren who will benefit from the Taste Week celebration at Måltidets Hus. Visitors to the canteen can take a PROP test, to find out if they are nontasters, tasters or supertasters.
PROP stands for 6-n-propylthiouracil, and there is a correlation between the ability to taste PROP and the number of taste buds on the tongue. About 70 per cent of white people have this ability and are called tasters (45%) and supertasters (25%). The remaining 30 per cent taste PROP very weakly or not at all and are called nontasters. The ability to taste PROP is genetic, but women are more likely to be supertasters.
The ambition is for Taste Week to help arouse curiosity about taste – and to promote a love of tasty food.