Wednesday, 18 March 2015

5 Unusual Food Courses

This morning I saw an interesting email from my brother in law in my inbox. It was about a Level 1 course on wines by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust of London. Reading that email reminded me of a tea sommelier course that I've heard about and always wanted to do, except it's not easily available in India.

5 Unusual Food Courses, Source: Coursera Certificate

This got me thinking about finding out more about unusual food courses (because I am a geek and proud to be one!). So here's a list of 5 food couses that are off the beaten track.

1. The Science of Gastronomy:

Ever drooled over Heston Blumenthal? Or the  food he cooks? It seems like magic at times, doesn't it? Nope, it's just science taken to another level!

Science of Gastronomy course

The Science of Gastronomy is an online course offered by Coursera. It starts with some basic principles of science that are relevant to cooking. Then it builds up to a crescendo of how to use them to make your meals tastier!

I've successfully completed this course and it's an absolutely delightful learning experience. The science explained is very easy to understand. And it really makes planning new recipes and dishes interesting and easier.

2. Tea Sommelier:

If you love tea like I do, then this one is for you! It is definitely on my list of courses I want to take up.

Tea Sommelier: If you know about this tea, you ought to take it! 

A tea sommelier (like a wine sommelier) has formal training about tea. These courses are not just about tea preparation and serving or food pairing with tea (yes, you can do that). They're also about the history of tea, plantation of tea, production of different types of tea etc. It's a hands -on course too. For example have tea tasting sessions in which you just taste different types of teas (sometimes up to 100 teas in one day)  for days in a row and make notes about them. This helps develop your taste palate for tea.

3. The Ethics of Eating

No, it's not about table manners.


The Ethics of Eating course is being offered on edx by Cornell. It deals with the bigger questions about eating. The course deals with the ethical and philosophical questions like animal rights, sustainability etc of what you choose to buy and eat. They've a pretty interesting line up of experts joining this discussion: philosophers, food scientists, activists, industry specialists, food writers and farmers.

4. Edible Landscaping:

An edible landscaping course is all about growing your own food.

Edible Landscaping Course: Souce:

It covers designing, creating and maintaining a low maintenance edible garden. An edible landscaping course will have modules on natural and eco-systems, designing and drawing the landscape to scale, specific aspects of growing plants and practical sessions.

5. Cooking Vacations

These are not really courses in a formal sense, but then I've already said that I am looking at unusual food courses.

Cooking Vacations: Source:

Cooking vacations are quite popular in Europe and growing quite fast in India. It works very simply: you take a scenic location, mix it with a great food culture and top it off with chefs teaching you how to cook local food. Something pretty basic that you as a cooking fanatic and your family (which may not be much into cooking) can both enjoy.