School lunch to get spicier with help of sophomores

These are some of the spices that could end up in a new spice bar at Fremont High School.

Carlos Castro

These are some of the spices that could end up in a new spice bar at Fremont High School.

Fremont High is about to get spicer with the help of sophomores in the Media Academy.

That’s because the Oakland Unified School District is getting ready to add a spice bar to the cafeteria and asked the sophomores to help out.

To choose the three top spices to be added, students in the Media Studies classes taste tested seven of them during their class on April 11.

The taste testing is being conducted by two members of the Oakland Unified School District Nutrition Services Department in order to find the best spices to add to a new spice bar in the Fremont cafeteria as well as other schools in the district.

“I’m feeling lucky (to get to test the spices) because not everyone gets the chance,” said Luz Morales, a taste tester.

The students tried seven different spices and they were put on brown rice, cucumber and carrots. The spices that were on brown rice were Asian and Roasted Garlic; the spices on the cucumber were Middle Eastern, Italian and Italian Sesame, and the spices on the carrots were Southern and Chili Lime

Last semester the Media Studies class took surveys and calculated how many people like or dislike the school lunch. A group of students then presented that data in front of the head of nutrition services of Oakland Unified School District who was Jennifer Le Barre. They also shared their testimony about school lunch.

In response, Le Barre decided to make a food testing day in which students participated to say their opinion about school lunch. Students ate with Le Barre in March. She also asked the menu planner for the district to return to Fremont with some taste tests.

The district plans to build a spice bar for Fremont students so they can add their own flavors to food. The spices, provided by Oaktown Spice Shop, will not include any salt in order to meet federal laws aimed to keep students healthy.

So how did students like the salt-free spices?

“Roasted garlic was smacking. It had the most taste,” said sophomore Rosalinda Ramos.

Fellow sophomore Damijia McGee agreed.

“I like roasted garlic because I like garlic,” he said.

Media Academy sophomore Ra’Melo Mixon contributed to this story.