Sanson’s Italian students make authentic food

Yum! Gnocchi is a potato-based pasta, which is one of the many meals the AP Italian students will be making by rolling by hand on their field trip next week.


Yum! Gnocchi is a potato-based pasta, which is one of the many meals the AP Italian students will be making by rolling by hand on their field trip next week.

Kyra Horvat, Staff Writer

The AP Italian students will be taking a field trip on March 4 to the Highland Heights Community Center.

AP Italian teacher Melissa Sanson has been teaching Italian for 16 years. She said, “My mother actually will be teaching this class, so the students will be learning how to make Gnocchi, which is a potato-based pasta. They will also make a Braciole meat, which is like a rolled thin steak rolled with cheese and spinach, and Tiramisu which is a coffee-layered dessert.”

Sanson is taking her AP Italian class on the field trip to have a cultural experience. “All my students already in AP have already done the pasta making field trip which my honors level four students just did Wednesday. They’ll learn how to do another type of pasta dish but instead of using your traditional way and using a little hand cranked machine, this one is all rolled by hand,” she said.

Senior Johnny Ceraolo is in AP Italian and plans to attend next week’s field trip. He said, “I’m excited about making all the food and getting to eat, instead of [being at] school. We will learn about how the food is made and how the cuisine in Italian fits a lot of the things we are taught about how they cook it.”

It is an AP standard to have students partake in a cultural experience to better understand the culture itself. Sanson said, “They’ll be learning how to do different traditional dishes. We all think Chicken Parmesan is Italian, [but] it’s actually not; it’s Americanized.”

A standard to know before the AP Italian test, is the The Low Slow Food Movement, which is a movement to get people to eat more self-prepared meals rather than fast food. “The whole topic of the slow food can be on the AP Italian test, so it’s my way of doing an AP cultural standard and the state standard,” she said.

The original date of the field trip was Feb. 12 but it had to be rescheduled. Sanson said, “I wanted my mom there ‘cause I’ve never taught Gnocchi, but my mom couldn’t get the day off. Then my mom thought she could’ve gotten off Feb. 26, but that’s the day after my birthday and I didn’t want to spend my birthday meal prepping, so we did March 4.”

Linus Dombrosky, a senior in AP Italian, has planned to go on this field trip since the beginning. He said, “The field trip moving dates did mess with my long term schedule. However, because we moved it rather in advance, I was able to adjust to the new schedule.”

In order to plan a field trip, the location, transportation, and substitute teacher for the chaperones (Mrs. Sanson and Mr. Torda) all have to be planned ahead of time. Since the date of the field trip changed, Sanson said, “I forgot to cancel Mr. Torda’s substitute, so a sub showed up on Feb. 12. I also didn’t realize I needed new paper work; I just thought my old paper work worked, but it didn’t, so I had to redo all of that.”

Senior in AP Italian, Vince Marvaldi, enjoys the language of Italian and his Italian class. He said, “It should be fun to hang out with friends, learn to make something, and of course eat whatever the result is.”

Dombrosky enjoys connecting with Italian community and learning unique foreign languages. He said, “I’m excited to learn how to make a new kind of dough. I’m also excited to meet Signora’s mom; she is a very Italian woman with lots of flare.”

According to Sanson, in Italy when one goes out to eat, meals come in four or more courses from appetizers to first and second course to dessert and even espresso. She said, “I’m going to do the Italian way where they’ll make an antipasto, the Gnocchi will be their first course, they’re gonna have a second meat course, a vegetable course, a dessert, and an espresso. They’re gonna do the whole authentic and cultural meal order.”

The field trip will be used as a way to give students a cultural experience outside of the classroom. Sanson said, “It gets them out of the building, it gets their hands dirty, it makes it fun. It actually is a field trip that’s so hands-on and so innovative, and at the end they have their own product; they actually have a pound of pasta they made.”