Students taste foods, learn different cultures


Photo by: Caleb Reeves

Students taste foods from around the world such as vegetable biryani from India during the Cultural Food Fest.

The Multicultural Advisory Board (MAB) and the Student Government Association (SGA) jointly hosted Cultural Food Fest, an event celebrating international cultures.

During the event that took place on Oct. 19, students were able to taste food from different regions and countries, such as India, France, Germany and Jamaica.

According to the chair of MAB, Donnisha Price, this is the first year that members from MAB and SGA planned the event together, and the event took weeks of planning.

Before hosting the event, members of both organizations had to have these foods approved by Ervin Dining Hall (EDH) staff. Each dish was cooked from scratch and was slightly altered to meet the requirements set by EDH. The recipes were printed in booklets and given to students and faculty who attended the event.

The Cultural Food Fest includes different dishes each year to represent different countries. Some of the dishes served include Jamaican jerk meatballs from the Caribbean Islands, beer-braised beef with potatoes and cabbage from Germany, vegetable biryani from India and brown butter tart with blackberries from France.

Price said a food tasting is one of the best ways to learn about different cultures.

“It’s a good way to get outside the box,” Price said. “An example would be fried chicken. There’s a lot of different ways to fry chicken. This opens you up to new things and realizing that the American way to do something isn’t the only way.”

According to Daphne Carter-McCants, assistant dean of students, approximately 200 students and faculty come to the food fest each year. Carter-McDants said the budget for the event was $2000, but they exceeded their budget by $500 for the chefs, audio equipment and plate warmers.

Junior Taylor Thompson said she enjoyed the event and was glad that she attended.

“It was interesting, and it was my first time going,” Thompson said. “I thoroughly enjoyed it. I feel that it’s a good experience for students to get out and experience the different things on campus, get them to meet more people and see different cultures.”

Thompson said there was not a diverse selection of dishes.

“I would’ve liked to see more options, not just your everyday things. I feel like a lot of what they had is stuff we see in the South,” Thompson said. “I’d be real interested in figuring out the different kinds of foods that there are to offer, especially in the Florence area as far as cultural differences.”