CPI culinary students mark trip to Italy

Jenna Mccaslin, Photographer

A group of students from the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology (CPI) Culinary Arts program and their teacher, Mr. Timothy Beckenbaugh, recently went to Italy. They spent a week visiting gorgeous sites and learning more about the background and making of foods. 

This trip was only possible because of the ongoing work it took for the students to raise money for it, and it was worth the memories they have now to cherish. 

“This trip was a very big trip and every single one of us that went worked extremely hard. We did bakesale after bakesale, event after event, and even fundraiser after fundraiser. We worked hard and got an amazing trip that had impacted our lives one way or another. We have learned, gained better friendships, experienced many of wonderful things, tried different foods,” senior Kaylah Nyman said.

Senior Chris Paden and other students got to visit all different places in Italy, but his favorite site was the Colosseum. 

“One event that caught my eye was being able to go to the Colosseum and being able to go inside and see how big it actually is and see the stuff under the ground,” Chris said. 

While on the trip, not only did the students see some beautiful sites, but also got to learn how to make different foods, and even vinegar. 

“We got to learn how to make homemade ravioli. And learned that it takes time to make good balsamic vinegar,” Chris said.  

There are many things to see in Italy, but one thing that caught Chris’s eye was the cheese and seeing its production process.

My favorite part of the trip was getting to go to a cheese factory and seeing how they make cheese at a large scale,” Chris said. 

Senior Alex Keys enjoyed learning new recipes from the people’s home they stayed in during the trip.

“My favorite part of the trip was being welcomed into our van driver’s house and his mother taught us how to make ravioli and tiramisu. The only recipes we learned were the ravioli and tiramisu from grandma,” Alex said. 

The meeting of this “Italian Grandma” is a big aspect and experience for many on this trip. She taught them new things and even had conversations with them. 

“In Tuscany we went to a grandma’s house and learned how to make ravioli and Tiramisu and we had dinner with them,” Kaylah said.

Going to Italy during New Years time can be a great experience, as you get to see all the amazing people and their traditions in Italy. 

They got to see acrobats do amazing things and got to witness them doing tricks high up in the air, which is an event done for New Years in Italy. 

“I enjoyed Florence a lot because we stayed there for New Years and there were acrobats in a tall building and they shot fireworks out of actual cannons. I would strongly recommend going to other countries,” Alex said. 

Kaylah recalls this night of the trip being memorable as well.  

“On New Years there was an event that caught my eye when we were walking in our free time. Only three of us saw it but there were acrobats dancing to music on the side of a tall building. They were of course supported with a wire, but it was extremely cool to see them jumping and dancing around hanging out of the windows of the building that high up,” Kaylah said. 

However, Kaylah’s favorite part of the trip was seeing all of the sights in general. 

“My favorite part about the trip was seeing all the different churches and tasting different food. All the different churches were beautiful and nothing like I have seen before. I especially liked seeing the domes on top of the churches inside and out. They were very beautiful to look at,” she said.

She got to experience a whole different aspect of food while spending time in Italy, and learned how it differs from PA. 

“We learned a lot about cooking in Italy. Their food is very different from ours. We went to factories to see how food like Parmesan, prosciutto, and balsamic vinegar are made and we got to taste a lot of authentic Italian food,” Kaylah  said. 

Not only was Italy itself beautiful, but for Kaylah it was a flight to remember.   

“I would highly recommend international traveling to other people even if you have never flown before. I will say it was a very long time (8 hours in the plane) to get there, but if you get a window seat it is extremely beautiful to look out the window,” Kaylah said. 

The CPI kids and Mr. Beckenbaugh’s week in Italy was a great experience and a good way to learn how to make different foods and learn about another country and the way they do things differently. The experience contained amazing food lessons and memories that both the students and teacher will remember forever.