Taste of Kimmons

Crunch. Crackle. Smack. Chew. On May 1st, English teachers hosted The Taste of Kimmons in their classrooms. Students entered anxiously, smelled the amazing aromas, and sampled savory foods from various cultures around the world. Students lined tabled with pots of spicy Cajun jambalaya and platters of Mexican enchiladas and tamales, El Salvadoran pupusas, Honduran baleadas, Polish pierogies, Native American fry bread, Vietnamese egg rolls, and Laotian sticky rice. For dessert, students enjoyed choco-bananas, flan, churos, and peach cobbler.

Everyone had their favorite food items.

“I liked the ribs that Coach Hinkle made because of the sweet and tangy flavor,” Isaiah Johnson, 9th, said.

Some preferred foods with a kick.

“My favorite food was my friend Thum Makk Thang’s sliced cucumbers with chili peppers mixed into a salad because it was spicy,” Wailon Heungwilai, 7th, said.

Others enjoyed trying new things.

“The pupusas were really good, and I had never tried them before,” Oriana Harrison, 7th, said.

In addition to sharing ethnic food with classmates, students also came to school dressed in cultural attire. Boys wore Mexican serapes and sombreros and colorful Laotian silk outfits with sashes across the chest. Girls wore South American dresses lined with ribbon, safari-inspired African dresses, and Native American buckskin skirts.

“I wore a red Vietnamese silk dress,” Hali Newman, 8th, said. “What inspired me to dress up was to represent my Vietnamese culture and myself.”

The event originated in 2002 as the Cultural Showcase with the purpose of celebrating the various cultures at Kimmons. The evening began with a parade of music and people dressed in cultural attire. Students then sang, performed traditional dances, and played instruments. The event ended with the students and community members lining the hallways to sample cultural foods.

Since 2002, Dr. Gray has kept the tradition going.

“Every year became bigger than the last,” Dr. Gray said. “It got so big and became so popular that it completely outgrew our gymnasium and our cafeteria. AWESOME!”

Last year, the administration asked that the Cultural Showcase become a day-time activity with a talent show and food brought to English classes. This year, the Cultural Showcase became simply the “Taste of Kimmons.”

“I was especially happy to see the other English teachers encouraging their classes to participate,” Dr. Gray said. “Students dressed to show their cultural pride, brought food, and presented artifacts. This is why Kimmons is so unique. We are proud to be who we are and that is why all of us make being a Raider so special.”

Several hope to see the tradition continued.

“The Taste of Kimmons gives each student a chance to express and explain their cultures,” Keiona Hartgraves, 9th, said. “It’s a way of getting classmates from different ethnicities closer.”