Night of Culture and Food Brings Large Crowd: 23rd International Food Festival at SMSU


Kim Watkins

Students waiting in line to try a sampling of foods from different cultures.

Kim Watkins, News Editor

The students and faculty of Southwest Minnesota State University as well as a number of community members were drawn to the campus for a night of culture and food, celebrating the various countries of many international students.

The 23rd Annual International Food Festival was held at SMSU in the upper Student Center on Apr. 13, where several stations were available for guests to try a number of new foods.

SMSU has over 120 international students from 23 different countries Many of these countries were represented at the event, with people wearing costumes native to specific cultures. Guests also had the chance to win prizes through several drawings throughout the event.

Countries represented at this event included Nepal, India, Kenya, Somalia, Jamaica, Ghana, Japan, China, Malaysia, Hmong-Laos, Korea, Thailand, Mexico and the U.S.A.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to experience different cultures and foods and to spend time with family and friends. It’s interesting to see the different selections year to year,” Danelle Geil, senior, said.

“I’ve been waiting all year for this…very excited. It’s fun to try the food and see all the people dressed up,” Natalie Sovell said.

Such selections included were:

Nepal – Chiura & Chwela (flattened rice with chicken, vegetables and spices)

Momo (Nepali dumplings-ground turkey with vegetables and spices)

Thukpa (noodle soup with chicken, onion and spices)

Nepal and India – Vegetable Pakora & Chowmein with Kheer

Kalakand (solidified, sweetened milk and cottage cheese treat)

Kenya – Chapati & Goat Meat (flatbread with tangy goat curry)

Somalia – Rice & Goat Meat

Jamaica – Curried Chicken, Fried Banana

Ghana – Waakye, Beef Stew and Spagetti

Japan – Gyoza (potstickers with ground pork, vegetables and oyster sauce)

California Roll (sushi)

China and Malaysia – Egg Roll & Malaysian Tea

Hmong-Laos – Fried Rice Noodles & Wings

Korea – Bulgogi (grilled thin beef marinated with soy sauce, sesame oil, onion, garlic and sugar)

Thailand – Fried Basil Leaves with Minced Pork

Mexico – Choco Flan (custard)

Pastel de tres leches (sponge cake with three kinds of milk)

Marble Jello

U.S.A – Sloppy Joe with Chips and Beans

Senior Culinology student, Zack Tan, shared that “the set-up is very organized, nice. It’s bigger…there are more sections.” He hopes to see “more added to the sections”, such as including more about the language and the culture of the countries.

This event is made possible by the International Student Organization, with help from the Culinology department.

If interested in more events at SMSU, check