NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 17, 2010

SPAGHETTI TACO DELIGHT

Amesbury students bite into offbeat, TV-inspired food fad

If you know anyone between the ages of 6 and 13, then you've probably heard of "iCarly."

And if you know anything at all about the Nickelodeon show that has legions of tween fans, then you've heard of spaghetti tacos.

Like so many cultural fads, the dish launched by the TV show that combines two kid favorites — spaghetti and tacos — started as a bit of a gag.

But it's turned into a real-life phenomenon — with the offbeat culinary concoction landing on dinner tables across the country and now even on lunch trays in Amesbury schools.

Amesbury Middle School started serving the unconventional tacos in October. At the time, cafeteria employees couldn't help but wonder if they would work out.

"We didn't know anything about them," said Beverly Freeman, who cooks and serves lunches at Amesbury Middle School. "But after that first lunch period, it became pretty obvious that the kids did."

Now, spaghetti tacos have earned a spot in the regular menu rotation, making a lunchtime appearance every month at not only Amesbury Middle School but at both elementary schools in town, as well.

Yesterday, they beat out hamburgers and pizzas as the most-requested menu item during the sixth-grade lunch at Amesbury Middle School, which is no small feat.

"I've seen 'iCarly,' and I like spaghetti and tacos, so that's what I'm going to have," student Michaela Forsyth said.

The line of students behind Michaela seemed to agree, as eager diners celebrated the entree of the day.

Spaghetti tacos were born on an episode of "iCarly" when the lead character's eccentric older brother, Spencer, makes dinner one night. Known for his spontaneously combusting experiments and light-up socks, Spencer adds a bit of whimsy in the kitchen as well.

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