Around the World in Two Hours
The scent of spices and the sound of clattering pots emerges from Page Commons. Outside a line has formed snaking past the post office and into the main lobby of the student center. The students, faculty, staff, local residents, and lucky prospective students are waiting to be let in to the eighth annual International Food Festival, hosted by the International Club and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
This year’s festival featured food from 24 countries, including Nepal, Cameroon, Germany, and Morocco, prepared primarily by students from those countries and their friends. Close to 300 people attended.
“I cooked for eleven and a half hours straight this year, and I am glad I got to feed so many people—it was absolutely worth it,” said senior Tausif Salim of Bangladesh, who has participated in the festival all four years at Colby. “I like cooking in general, and I like representing my country whenever I have the chance.”
The student chefs try to serve up some tidbits about their culture along with the food. Smriti Bajracharya '11 helped cook seven dishes this year because seven is an auspicious number for the Nepalese.
“We’ve had more food this year than any other year,” said Associate Dean of Students Sue McDougal, who works with international students. The food included everything from an Austrian dessert called “The Emperor’s Nonsense”—a pancake filled with sugar, eggs, and butter, to fried liver from Swaziland. The United States made an appearance with Maine-made organic yogurt and granola from Waterville's Barrels Community Market.
At the conclusion of the food festival, judges awarded prizes for best decorations, dessert, and food. Students representing Nepal received first place for their decorations; best dessert went to Russia for their chocolate-covered potato treat; and Albania received bragging rights for the best food, which included dishes like Tirana Fergese, featuring olives, feta cheese, and peppers.
“Every bite was spectacular … I need a nap,” joked judge Adam Musial.