On a chilly night, teens lined up at the Southeast Branch Library of the St. Johns County Public Library System to put their taste buds to the test. They were challenged to identify nine distinct flavors of Oreo cookies, all while blindfolded. Their parents, siblings, and friends looked on in amusement while the teens’ faces contorted with delight (chocolate peanut butter pie Oreos!) and sometimes grimaces (lemon?!).

The Southeast Branch Library has been hosting teen cooking classes almost every month since 2012. Teens and tweens learn about kitchen hygiene, recipe reading, math with measurements, cooking skills, and how to work in a team to accomplish a common goal. Recently, the library has begun to shake things up with cooking classes based off of popular food shows. Such classes have included: Milkshake Wars, Taco Tournament, Supercharged Smoothies, and now the Oreo Taste Test Challenge. Teen wins Professional Cookie Taste Tester award Teens taste test Oreo flavors

Amazingly, one teen was able to detect all nine flavors of Oreo cookies correctly! Those flavors included original, golden, birthday cake, lemon, chocolate cream, chocolate peanut butter pie, mint, carrot cake, and peanut butter. She won a custom “Professional Cookie Taste Tester” mug for her amazing taste buds!

 “The teen cooking classes at the Southeast Branch are amazing! Our boys have learned a lot of new skills and kitchen safety, plus they are reaching out and trying new foods. As a homeschool mom, I also appreciate having a ‘team’ of teachers helping my kids grow into well-rounded adults. Thank you, Alex and Akilah!” said Teri Carlson, a mom and Southeast Branch Library patron.

All of these programs and more are supported by funding from the Friends of the Southeast Branch Library. To find additional information about the cooking classes or other educational programs for teens at your library, visit www.sjcpls.org.