Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Taste cultures around the world

The Critical Languages Center will host its annual Exotic Food Tasting Trip this Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on the second floor of B.B. Comer. The event will include sample dishes from 16 different countries. Native teachers as well as students will supply food from every language department at the University.

“The purpose [of the Exotic Food Tasting Tour] is to advertise different languages and cultures,” said Sumi Woo, administrative staff member of the CLC and graduate student studying political science.

When asked why she was involved with the CLC, Woo explained that coming from a culturally diverse state like New York to Tuscaloosa was a change and she wanted to help inform others about the rest of the world.

“Alabamians knew very little about international cultures,” Woo said. “I want people to know about my culture more.”

The Exotic Food Tasting Trip occurs annually. Last year, more than 150 people attended, and the CLC expects around the same number to attend this year.

“It was so crowded and the line was out the door,” said Ning Yang, administrative staff member of the CLC and graduate student studying educational psychology.

Participants will need a pamphlet called a passport in order to attend the event and are encouraged to get one as soon as possible before they are sold out. Passports are available in 200 B.B. Comer, and a donation of $6 or more is suggested for each passport to cover the costs of food.

“We welcome anybody of any kind to volunteer,” Woo said.

Volunteers can help set up tables and help clean up after the event. Each table is designated to a specific country. As a thank you, the CLC will provide a custom-made T-shirt with Alabama written on it in all the languages the CLC offers.

Along with the food, each table will have information and pictures about each country and its language and culture. The goal is for students to come and taste the food and, as a result, generate an interest in languages and culture.

“Alabama needs experience with international stuff,” Woo said.

Some of the ingredients are not easy to find, while others are common and it is the seasoning that is specifically unique; however, some teachers and students must travel to find everything they need. Some foods could be found here in Tuscaloosa at the Asian, Korean and Middle Eastern markets.

“Some students and professors travel to Birmingham or even Atlanta,” Yang said.

The CLC is part of the modern language and classics department. They focus on languages spoken by minorities that are relatively uncommon here in Tuscaloosa. The Indonesian and Thai programs, for example, are diminishing because fewer people are enrolling in these classes whereas Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese were part of the CLC until they became popular and are now part of the Modern Language Department.

Situations such as these are motivation for Woo, Yang and others to bring attention to the minorities and increase their presence around campus.

IF YOU GO… (sidebar)

Foods you’ll eat…

  • From Iraq, Jameel Fadhela will cook Rzw-hashow (Red-rice with chickpeas, raisins, and chicken).
  • From Egypt, Philemon Kirlles will provide Mahshy (stuffed cabbage) and Bidengaan-Mikhalil (fermented and salted eggplant).
  • Sumi Woo, Myung-ju Lee and Jun-seok Kang of Korea will bring Bul-go-gi (marinated barbecued beef) and Jap-chae (sweet potato noodles).
  • From Japan, Shiori Furuichi is bringing Ka-ra-a-ge (Japanese fried chicken).
  • Kelly and Ana Skelton will bring a Portuguese dish called Brigadeiros (chocolate balls) and Beijinhos (Sweet coconut dessert)
  • Aggie Alford and Timothy Alford will make Shirin Polow (Sweet Rice with Candied Orange Peel, Pistachio & Almond Slivers)?Kabab-e Kubideh (Ground Beef Kabab) and?Khorosht-e Qormeh Sabzi (Fresh Herb Khorosht with Parsley, Mint, Leeks, Fenugreek & Chives) from Iran.
  • From Thailand, Ad Kanyalak will supply Thai soup.
  • Pauline Noblet and Kari DeBois are preparing crepes, quiches and chocolate cake from France.
  • Larissa Clachar from Costa Rica will cook Costa Rican Rice and Beans.
  • And finally From Italy, Maurizio Godorecci is bringing a pasta dish, along with others not yet disclosed.
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