Culinary Culture Clash

When my daughter was in 2nd grade, each student in the class was given a week to be the “Top Dog”. The week before, the students were sent home with a sheet they were to fill out. It asked questions about some of the favorite things in life and what made them special. The kids got the opportunity to stand in front of the classroom and share all their favorites.

One week a girl in my daughter’s class shared that her favorite food was spaghetti tacos. When my daughter told me that her friend’s favorite food was spaghetti tacos, the first words out of my mouth were, “What are spaghetti tacos?” My daughter responded that she didn’t know. She had never heard of them before either.

One day after school, while I was waiting to pick up my little girl, I ran into the dad of the girl who had been Top Dog. I asked him what spaghetti tacos were. He informed me that they were an invention from his daughter’s favorite TV show, iCarly. In one episode the brother is given the task of making dinner. He is torn and can’t decide whether to make spaghetti or tacos. He is suddenly hit with a bolt of inspiration and decides to join the best of both worlds. And thus, the spaghetti taco was born.

Without a formal recipe we decided to give it a try and make out own version of the spaghetti taco. We had prepared in advance and made trip to the store for supplies. For spaghetti, my daughter opted for penne pasta. The only problem we encountered was that we have a tomato allergy in our house. We had learned that ranch dressing make a great substitute for tomato sauce in many situations. We bought the pre-made taco shells and were all ready to go. The cooking was easy; the assembly was a little more of a challenge. Trying to get the penne in the taco shell was a learning experience. In the future, I would recommend the use of regular spaghetti noodles.

Overall, the spaghetti tacos were a success in our house. I loved ‘em too. The crunch of the taco shell combined with the pasta and the ranch was yummy. They have made return trips to our house. It’s always great to learn of a new menu item that we can add to the dinner rotation.

What other menu items have you tried on the suggestion of your kids? Any unusual foods that have been inspired by TV shows or movies?







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James Kennedy

VCE Chemistry Teacher at Haileybury, Australia


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