Eating Your Way Around the World

Amy M Sutherland

Store-bought treats and homemade delicacies vied for attention at this culinary feast.

Gastronomy went global Saturday night, as over 20 Harvard groups peddled their edible wares at the annual Cultural Rhythms Food Festival.

Diners circled the culinary globe by walking from table to table, weighing their options before committing to a cuisine. While there was the occasional overlap (at least three groups sold fried plantains), the diversity of offerings was astounding—bright yellow mango lassi from Dharma, spicy jerk chicken from the Harvard Caribbean Club, and pillowy scallion pancakes from the Harvard-Radcliffe Chinese Students Association were definite stand-outs. So where did it come from?

“We hijacked the Adams House kitchen,” said Tim J. Old ’10, a member of Harvard Kung Fu, who prepared a vegetarian menu including baby corn and tofu in a mango sauce. “We’ve been cooking since noon.”

While many groups chose to outsource their cooking, the members of the Irish-American Society rolled up their own sleeves and took to the kitchens of Eliot dining hall. From their hearty raisin-studded soda bread to their traditional blackberry potato pancakes dusted with powdered sugar, the dishes exuded the comfort of fireside warmth.

Beef patties at the Harvard Caribbean Club and cannoli at the Harvard Italian-American Association received rave reviews from food festival connoisseurs. No surprise there: the patties were catered by Flame Restaurant and the cannoli from Mike’s Pastry on Hanover St. in the North End, clearly in a league of their own.

Whether outsourced or homegrown, culture never tasted so good.