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The Carletonian

Foodgressive Celebrates Carleton’s Cultural Diversity Through Culinary Creations

<rleton students had the chance to travel the world through tasting food on a journey across campus hosted by Firebellies.  The Foodgressive, as the event was dubbed, aimed to celebrate Carleton’s cultural diversity.

The event, which was held last Saturday, allowed students to taste food made by different campus cultural groups at locations across campus.  The journey began in the LDC, where students were placed in travel groups with other students and given their passport and itinerary for the evening, which included the menus and recipes for each of the stops.  

The first stop was held in Cassat and hosted by the Korean Student Association (KSA) who served a delicious stir-fried Korean noodle dish to the eager and hungry students.  At the next stop, students tasted fried plantains, dates and almond milk prepared by the African Student Association (AFRISA) in Hill House.  

Students then progressed to Casa where they sampled chips and salsa served by the Latin American Student Organization (LASO).  Next door, at Dacie Moses House, students were delighted by the smell of freshly made pakoras cooked by the South Asian club.  

The journey ended in Burton, where Food Truth treated students to a selection of vegan cookies and pine needle tea made from pine needles collected in the Arb.

In addition to tasting the food at the various stops, students also had the chance to help the cultural groups cook beforehand so that they could learn to make the food they were eating.   

This was the second Foodgressive Firebellies has hosted. The first, which was held last term, included stops hosted only by KSA, Food Truth, and other Firebellies members. Firebellies’ president Vayu Rekdal ‘15 wanted to make this second Foodgressive “more of an international experience. I wanted people to experience new foods and try foods you don’t usually eat at Carleton,” he said.

Vayu hoped the Foodgressive would be an opportunity for the cultural groups to represent themselves and their cultures to other students on campus.  

“I wanted to give students the chance to taste food and experience other cultures while coming to understand Carleton’s diversity,” he said. “There is huge cultural diversity here.  But sometimes the cultural clubs only serve people from their community.  The cultural clubs are here to serve the wider community.”

Vayu believes it is important for students to learn about other foods and cultures.  “It is a bridge to something broader, wider than the food itself,” he said of experiencing new foods.  “It is the chance to connect to different cultures and backgrounds.”  

Vayu believes this is an essential part of a Carleton education.  “It ties well into the liberal arts curriculum and the international education you get [at Carleton] but in a fun, friendly non-institutional way,” he said.  
The Foodgressive is a way to expose students to new ideas outside the classroom, he explained.

Students also had the chance to meet new people, as many students attended the Foodgressive alone.  
“Interacting over food is a good, unpretentious, and relaxed way to meet and connect with new people,” said Vayu.  

“You meet different people you wouldn’t meet before and you have this common denominator which is a love for food and other cultures.”

Despite the bitter cold, students had a great time meeting new people and trying new food.  Vayu hopes to make the Foodgressive a once a term tradition.  

Based on the success of this past Foodgressive, which garnered so much interest that all the places were quickly filled, there will likely be many Carls anxiously waiting the next opportunity to go on a similar food journey.

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