Caroline County students were able to sample a variety of fresh, local produce and homemade Maryland crab soup during Maryland's annual Farm to School week, September 15 - 18. The highlight of the week was a taste test to see which school cafeteria made the best Maryland crab soup using crab meat from JM Clayton in Cambridge and vegetables from Delmarva area farms.
A panel of judges assembled on Thursday, Sept. 18 at Colonel Richardson High School. The judges included Karen Fedor from the Maryland State Department of Agriculture and Erin Kennedy from the Maryland State Department of Education. Local judges included Caroline County Commissioner Larry Porter, Tolbert Rowe, school board president and teachers, students and school system supervisors.
Beth Brewster, Supervisor of Food Services said the school system was able to get a good price on the crab meat (backfin and claw meat) from JM Clayton in Cambridge. "We had 120 pounds of crabmeat," said Brewster. Each cafeteria staff made their own recipe for the soup, and had to include fresh vegetables. The judges had to sample nine different crab soup recipes. "The judging was no easy task, since all the soups were delicious," said Brewster.
The judges had to rank the soups on whether it was pleasing to the taste buds, if the soup provided a variety of textures and if it looked appetizing. In the end, Brewster said the winning soup recipe came from the cafeteria staff at Greensboro Elementary School.
Brewster thanked all the school cafeterias for making Farm to School week a huge success. In addition to the crab soup, students also got to try tomatoes and squash from Clayton Farms in Denton; corn, apples and peaches from Fifer Orchards in Camden, Delaware; apples from T. S. Smith in Bridgeville, Delaware; watermelon from S & S Farms in Laurel, Delaware; red potatoes from Dublin Farms in Horntown, Virginia and sweet potatoes from a local farmer in Hurlock.
Elementary students also received a visit from Apple Annie, during lunch periods at each of the five elementary schools.