Teaching Students About Tartare

Tartare has long been regarded as a refined and flavorful dish that graces the menus of high-end restaurants and is revered by gourmands across the globe. Often prepared as either steak or fish tartare, this dish boasts a unique texture and taste. Despite its culinary stature, tartare remains an enigma to many students, who might be more familiar with fast-food chicken nuggets than filet mignon.

In this article, we will delve into the art of teaching students about tartare, exploring its history, preparation methods and nutritional benefits while offering ways to integrate this culinary delight into your classroom.

The History of Tartare

Before embarking on the journey of teaching students about tartare, it is important to establish a thorough understanding of the dish’s fascinating origins. The story can be traced back to nomadic tribes in Central Asia who thinly sliced raw meats for consumption while on horseback. This method of eating was adopted and modified by various cultures over time, ultimately leading to the formation of today’s modern tartare dishes.

The two most prominent types of tartare are steak tartare and fish tartare. Steak tartare came into prominence in France during the early 20th century while fish tartare, particularly with tuna or salmon, gained popularity in more recent decades.

Teaching Tartare in The Classroom

1. Introducing Tartare

Start by explaining the basic concept of what constitutes tartare – a raw or semi-raw chopped protein that is seasoned and served cool or at room temperature. Share images from different preparations around the world, highlighting various cultural adaptations and noting how ingredients like capers, onions, herbs, sauces, and spices add depth and dimension to its flavor profile.

2. Raw vs Semi-Raw: A Delicate Balance

Discuss food safety concerns surrounding the consumption of raw or semi-raw protein. Emphasize the importance of sourcing high-quality, fresh ingredients from reputable purveyors, as well as the need for proper food handling and storage techniques to preserve quality and minimize potential health risks.

3. Practical Demonstration

Conduct a live demonstration of preparing and plating tartare, using either video projector or live camera feed to engage students in this hands-on learning experience. Pre-assemble this dish with a few different protein options (such as steak or tuna) to highlight how diverse preparations can lead to distinct flavor profiles.

4. Tasting Session

Organize an in-class tasting session if possible, by partnering with the school cafeteria staff or engaging parents as volunteers to help you prepare sample servings of tartare for students. Encourage them to analyze texture, appearance, and taste, comparing these elements across various proteins and seasoning combinations.

5. Nutritional Benefits

Highlight the nutritional benefits of tartare dishes, focusing on factors such as high-quality protein and heart-healthy fats found in fish like salmon and tuna. Discuss the advantages of integrating tartare into a balanced diet, offering suggestions for alternate protein sources like tofu or tempeh-based tartare.


Teaching students about tartare provides an excellent opportunity to broaden their culinary horizons while enriching their understanding of global history and culture. Embrace this challenge with enthusiasm, instilling in your students a newfound appreciation for one of the world’s most iconic and delectable dishes. With patience, creativity, and dedication, your class will become a forum for culinary exploration that fosters a lifetime love of learning about food.

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