Coffee Hour: A bite of the world

Students brought a variety of foods to share, including stroganoff, arepas, and curry chicken



Rehael Mufti, senior double majoring in marketing and human resources, gives a presentation on different foods from around the world, Sep. 30.


On Friday, the International Center held a Coffee Hour on cultural cuisines from across the globe.

Students brought a variety of foods to share, including stroganoff, arepas and curry chicken.

Rehael Mufti, senior marketing and human resources double major, talked about why the meeting was centered around food.

“Obviously everybody [who] moves here, they’ll obviously get an idea of American food and they might not know from different countries what type of foods there are,” she said. “So it opens people up to trying foods.”

Mufti said she wanted to make a presentation that was easy to understand, so she asked a few people about popular foods from their home countries to include in the presentation.

“The goal was to educate people on different cultures around the world, because I feel like since I’ve moved here a lot of people don’t have that knowledge and keeping that amount of knowledge is what the International Center’s just about,” Mufti said.

The first dish Mufti showed attendees was the fried chop rice cake, a traditional Manchu snack from China that gained fame in Beijing.

Other dishes included sukiyaki, a beef and vegetable dish from Japan, biryani, a rice dish from Pakistan, shawarma, a traditional lamb from the United Arab Emirates and more.

Hector Botello, graduate student studying economics, presented slides on Colombian food, dividing, “Colombian food into two big groups … with food [Colombians] adapt to [their] culture…and real traditional [food].”

Botello compared arepas, which are cornmeal cakes, to bread in Colombia, where it is eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“It is like a bread, but it’s crunchy, and you can put a lot of things inside,” Botello said.

After having some food, attendees shared their favorite dishes from their home countries.

Aryan Jha, doctoral student from India, said his favorite dish in Indian cuisine was fish curry and rice.

Cheng You Wu, food engineering student from Taipei, Taiwan, said a famous Taiwanese dish is beef noodle soup, but that his favorite food is stinky tofu.

Naxalia Perez, civil engineering graduate student, described the similarities between Nicaraguan and other Latin American cuisines.

“We have many shared traditions among Latin America, so I know Hector’s cuisine and Colombian cuisine, and Mexican cuisine is very similar because we cook with rice, beans and a lot of meat as well as tomato, avocado and tortillas,” Perez said.

Next Friday, the International Center will host a coffee hour focusing on different drinks, where attendees have the opportunity to meet other students and try a variety of coffee and juice beverages.