Cuisine meets culture at International Food Fair


Mary Pautsch/Iowa State Daily

The Russian-Speaking Students Association offered three different dishes at the International Food Fair Apr. 9.

Mary Pautsch

Iowa State’s International Student Council spread culture on Sunday by feeding into every college student’s weakness – food.

Fourteen multicultural groups filled the Memorial Union with a wide variety of international dishes for students to try out.

Hannah Ridzuan, vice president of the International Student Council, said the event was a great way for the Ames community to experience different cultures in a fun, interactive way.

“You can actually taste and smell culture here,” Ridzuan said. “It’s a more hands-on way of seeing culture, rather than sitting and watching performances or something like that.”

The International Food Fair was originally part of Veishea before the weeklong celebration was discontinued. The fair was then continued during Iowa State’s International Week, and International Student Council has vowed to continue the event as a spring-time tradition ever since.

“Everyone likes food, so why not?” Ridzuan said.

Ridzuan said she was most looking forward to trying the different types of tea being offered. Four of the 14 stations set up had different types of teas, all prepared in different ways.

“I just think that it’s so cool that even though it’s all technically tea, they’re all really different,” she said. “It just goes to show how culture plays a big part in food. Like there’s bubble tea, a Thai tea, iced tea … it all sounds so good.”

Other favorite dishes were Russian kompot, a drink made out of berries, and borscht, a stew-type entrée made out of beets and sour cream. Many students also enjoyed chicken satay and sweet corn prepared by the PERMIAS Indonesian Student Association.

Students and members of the Ames community of different backgrounds and nationalities attended the event.

Alexandra Goldina, president of the ISU Russian Club, said the event was important to her because it brings diversity to Iowa State.

“How other people and groups interact through doing something like eating a meal, it’s good to see that,” Goldina said. “I think it’s important to show diversity, especially here in a land-locked state.”

For Amelia Golwitzer, senior in supply chain management, the event took her back to her time studying abroad in Spain. Golwitzer said her time in Europe made a significant impact on her life, and she tries to continue to broaden her horizons in the United States.

“After spending a semester in Europe, it’s nice to have an event to experience food and culture here in Ames,” Golwitzer said.

Editior’s note: An incorrect quote was retracted and an inaccurate name was changed to the correct name.