Rice and Spice
LESSON 2: Food cultures and the cuisines of Southeast Asia: What is the significance of spices and fermented fish products in Southeast Asian cuisines?
This lesson plan utilizes food as a theme to understand both the particularities of and commonalities among diverse Southeast Asian communities. It is a lens for understanding the histories of human migration, interaction, and exchange. Students will learn how food cultures inform community identity formations and how they travel with individuals as they migrate, thus contributing to the rich cultural diffusion and infusion within and beyond the region. They will also examine how colonialism and globalization impact food cultures in Southeast Asia.
|Subject||History / Social Studies|
|Topic||The significance of spices and fermented fish products in South-East Asian cuisines|
|Key idea||Spices and fermented fish products are part of the shared culinary traditions of Southeast Asia. Spices and
fermentation are also important for the preservation of food products.
|Key concepts||Colonialism and colonisation
Relationship between cuisine and class/geography/gender
|No. of periods / lessons||1 period (1 period is approximately 50 minutes)|
|Facilities needed||Sources and handouts for distribution|
|Prerequisite knowledge||No prerequisite knowledge required.|
By the end of the lesson, the students will be able to:
Download the lesson plan for details on the talks and activities suggested below.
1. Hook activity
Students discuss the importance of spices in their meals. The exercise illustrate how widely-used some products such as fermented fish or shell products are and how different the food would taste without them.
2. Teacher talk
The lecture presents the history of fermented products and their spread through Southeast Asia and their diversity.
This presentation can be used as a guiding thread through the lesson: it includes the core content and also introduces discussion topics and activities.
3. Group work: Gallery walk
Students analyze a set of sources to find out information about the production and use of fermented fish and shell products in the various countries of Southeast Asia.
The teacher illustrates how fermented fish products are a shared element in culinary history and culture among all countries in Southeast Asia and encourages the students to communicate with their family and learn about the culinary traditions and heritage of their communities.
5. Suggestions for follow-up activities
- Field trip to a traditional market to learn about the key
ingredients in Southeast Asian cuisine.
- Cooking lesson to create a recipe featuring at least two
ingredients they have learned about from this