Features & Profiles

A Priceless International Menu

By Maram Sharif ’22

You can’t put a price on ethnic food, it’s just so awesome. With many international borders on campus, we have no doubt they have been longing for some of their favorite dishes from home. We interviewed some of our international students to find out what food they have been missing. Here’s what they said:

From Kenya, we have Sidney Mutau ‘23 who’s been thinking about Mandazis lately:

“The main food I miss from Kenya is Mandazis. A Mandazi is fried dough that is like a beignet but with different spices. They can be eaten at any time but they are typically a breakfast or snack food and I enjoy them with beans, juice or tea. Technically, they have mandazis here in the US, but they don’t taste the same as the ones from home and that’s why I miss them most.”

Photo Curtesy by nairobikitchen.com

From Hungary, Anna Dámosy ‘24 misses Lángos:

“The Lángos is really hard to describe. I think you could call it street food. It is made out of a deep fried dough, but somewhat like a flatbread, and you get to choose your toppings! My favourite combination, which is very common, is garlic, sour cream, and grated cheese. We usually eat it in the summer, especially around Lake Balaton.”

Photo Curtesy by Reddit

From South Korea, Grace Noh ‘22 is craving Tteokguk:

“The Korean dish I miss especially right now is Tteokguk (떡국). Tteokguk is also called sliced rice cake soup and also contains some pieces of beef and often dumplings. It’s a traditional Korean dish that Koreans eat while they celebrate Korean New Years. Koreans believe that if you finish your bowl of tteokguk, you’ll get a year older! (We use a different age system).”

Photo Curtesy by tarasmulticulturaltable.com

From Spain, Sandra Carrasco ‘24 is longing for some Paella:

“When I went back to Spain last Christmas break, the first thing I asked my parents to do was eat Paella. Paella is a typical Spanish dish that is made out of rice; seafood, meat or vegetables, and spices. They are especially good at making it in the Mediterranean coast of Spain. The best one I have ever tried was a seafood paella in Valencia. My dad has learnt how to make Paella and we eat it mostly in summer. It is a hard dish to make, and it takes a long time so we only eat it on special occasions, and that’s what makes it mean a lot to me.” 

Photo Curtesy by Sandra Carrasco ’24

From Sweden, our very own Clara Prander ‘22 can’t wait to have some Semla:

“Something I miss from back home in Sweden is Semla. Semla consists of a wheat bun flavored with cardamom and filled with almond paste and whipped cream. The tradition goes back a long time. Back in the days they were eaten on the Fettisdag which was the last celebratory feast before the Christian lent. However, this disappeared at some point and is now eaten from January to February. It’s my favorite thing to eat and it is only available for a few months. If you’re ever in Sweden during January or February, Semla is a must, and it’s best enjoyed with coffee.”

Photo Curtesy by Swedish for Professionals

And finally, I’m from Bahrain and what I miss the most is Karak Tea. I’m not a big fan of caffeinated drinks but this tea has a special spot in my heart. It is mainly made of  black loose tea leaves, cardamom, cloves, saffron, rose water, sugar, and condensed milk. Due to its warm nature, this drink is especially well enjoyed during the winter. However, since Bahrain’s climate is constantly warm and hardly goes below 64F in the winter, Bahrainis do not care either way. If you catch someone drinking blazing hot Karak tea in 120 degree weather, you know they are a real Bahraini!

Photo Curtesy by bonappetit.com

With a wide variety of food that our international students miss, we recommend trying some, if not all, of those options. You could start with some Lángos or Tteokguk as your entry, followed by some delicious Paella. To sweeten your day, you could choose between diving into some Cardamom-spiced Semla, trying some immaculate bites of Mandazis, or just simply sipping some warm Karak tea. Our mouths are watering, and we bet yours is too!

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