2019 International Food Fair

Source: Taipei Medical University

Published on 2019-05-23

Morning classes are finished and you’re hungry for lunch, but you’re in the mood for something a bit… different? Well once a year at the TMU International Food Fair, students, staff, and their friends have a chance to satisfy their appetites for the exotic, and with dishes as diverse as TMU’s student population, you’re sure to sample something special, and you certainly won’t leave hungry.

Held annually for the past decade, the TMU International Food Fair is the perfect chance to treat yourself with an array of international cuisine. This year’s event, held on April 29, saw students at 14 tents serving foods from Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, and India.

The lunch rush

Getting ready to serve hundreds of visitors during the lunch hour meant part-time chefs arrived at kitchens early to prep their home-style delicacies, while the Indonesian team got their BBQ and party on outside. The event really began to heat up, both figuratively and literally, around noon, but with this year’s addition of a covered central eating area the warm temperatures didn’t seem to deter anyone.

Besides being a chance to satisfy lunch cravings, the Food Fair is also a way for students to share a taste of culture through food. Students at the Nicaragua tent mentioned the difficulty of finding authentic Nicaraguan fare as they prepared Pico de Gallo and a sweet rice pudding.  “We want to share the traditional food of Nicaragua. It’s hard to find authentic Nicaraguan food in Taipei,” they said. The sentiment was echoed by Carlos at the Honduran tent whose style of tacos can be found on any Honduran street corner.

It’s also an opportunity for students to show off their culinary skills, like the two undergrads from Mongolia who laughed as they prepared traditional dumplings and grape juice. “We want to show off our country, and share that we can cook!”

Besides being a chance to cook and enjoy international dishes, participating in the Food Fair is also a way for international students to show their appreciation for time spent at TMU. “Most of us are scholarship students, and we want to give back to Taiwan,” said Carlos, who is also a member of the Honduran Students’ Association that runs day and elder care programs in Taipei.

The event was attended by TMU Vice President Chieh-Hsi Wu, who visited all the tents to interact with students. “The Food Fair is a chance for local and international students to mingle … food is great medium for internationalization on campus,” he said. “It’s a great event!”

VP Wu was diplomatic  when asked about his favorite dish, “It’s really hard to say because everything looks so delicious!”

Vice President Wu chatting with international students

Many food fair attendees couldn’t agree more. Lines formed but moved quickly as students and staff sampled and shared foods from 14 different countries. Some tents even sold out early. Big hits included Kaliah, a dish from Jordan made with ground beef and tomato, and Riz Graz, a rice and meat dish from Burkina Faso.

The event was well-received by local and international students alike.  “It’s great to try foods from different countries,” said Tito, an international student sharing dishes with friends, “I wish there were even more countries here!”

By lunch’s end there were smiles and empty food trays, but almost no leftovers.

If you’d like to attend next year’s International Food Fair or if you’re interested in cooking up a home-style dish to share with the TMU community, keep an eye on the OGE website for schedule information. Hope to see you next year!

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