My kids love to help cook, but they also love their video games. Our whole family really enjoyed Cooking Mama back in the day, but I’ve recently found a new game that does a better job of bridge the gap between game play and actual cooking.
In fact, Issa’s Edible Adventures (free, for iOS) was developed by a chef-mom who wanted that exact thing for her own kid, too.
CMP is an rstyle affiliate.
Issa’s Edible Adventures is played in nicely illustrated interactive episodes, each one centered on a different international recipe.
I started with the free Arroz con Pollo episode, in which Issa’s mom is busy in the kitchen, preparing a meal for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico — who, in real life, happens to be the third female Chief Justice in PR. (How awesome is that, BTW?) She would like arroz con pollo for dinner, but the kitchen is missing a few ingredients. So, Issa (and her pet pig) hop in their helicopter (as children and pigs are apt to do) and travel around the world to gather ingredients from their places of origin: annatto seeds from Ecuador, olives from Spain, and rice from China.
Throughout the journey, your kids will learn cultural facts and tidbits, and have to answer trivia questions to move on to the next location.The game also has a real Cooking Mama feel, in which kids are measuring, pouring, and mixing items together to cook the meal virtually after bringing the ingredients home.
What’s really great is that this app is designed to get kids in the real kitchen; when they’re finished making the meal, the recipe card is added to a virtual recipe box.
I think this is so brilliant, because when kids are invested in the culture and history of a dish and its ingredients, and even “practiced” making the dish virtually, they’ll be so excited to put on some oven mitts and help out during dinner.
And if your’e lucky, they’ll be eating Ethiopian Gomen and Arroz con Pollo. Mind blown.
Download Issa’s Edible Adventures for free for iOS at the App Store today. The first two (Arroz con Pollo and Ethiopian Gomen) are free, and you can use in-app purchases to add additional episodes, like Sicilian Pasta with Cauliflower. These are $1.99 each, but for the time it entertains my kids — plus the chance they might actually eat cauliflower — I think it’s worth it.