Expanding the Palate and Tasting the World
Mary Marvin
mmarv339@uwsp.edu

International students from five different countries treated students and faculty to some of their favorite traditional dishes at the Taste of the World.

Smells wafting from the kitchen could be recognized as soon as the door was opened last Saturday. The room was filled with curious combinations of food and people all gathered around the chefs.

Students made appetizers, side dishes, main courses and desserts from Saudi Arabia, Germany, Ukraine, Thailand, and Japan.

However, the participants were not just students. A few faculty members and even one student’s grandparents were present.

Participants were split into two groups with each group learning how to cook a special dish. They would then switch places as the chefs made the dish again.

Ingredients for the dishes were mostly found in the Asian market or in local grocery stores. However, a few harder to find spices were picked up from as far away as Milwaukee.

The event was held two years ago and was a success. This time around the International Club had to put a cap on the number of participants due to the increased amount of interest. The club might host another Taste of the World next semester because of its popularity.

“This event had a really good turnout,” said International Club member Cherie Fu. “We’ve got a good mix of students and faculty.”

When asked which dish they were most excited for, most people responded with dessert.

A student from Germany helped bake a Baumkuchen, or tree cake, which gets its name from its layers. To make the layers, the baker has to spread one layer, bake it for a few minutes, take it out again and repeat the process.

The observers got the chance to learn about culture as well as food.

The Japanese dish, Oyakodon, had a particularly interesting origin. The dish translates to “parent-and- child donburi” and is made with chicken and eggs to symbolize the parent and child.

From the Ukraine, observers got to try Ikra, known as the poor man’s caviar. The dish is composed of eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, onions and spices.

The Saudi Arabian dish was called Sanieh Batates, which translates to pan of potatoes” and is usually a side dish at dinner. Student Mostafa Abdullah Alabed says it’s one of his favorites.

“It’s very flexible because you can make it with whatever you want,” Alabed said. “You can use different kinds of meat or spices to make it taste how you want it to.”

Student Aor Srinuan made the dish from Thailand, Tom Yum soup.

“It’s very spicy and sour. This is something you’d order first in a restaurant,” Srinuan said.

After cooking and sampling all the dishes, the participants received a booklet of the recipes from the day.​