Taste of Ryerson is one of the events in CultureJam week, a series of multicultural events organized by the Ryerson Students’ Union. RSU provided each student organization with a 50-dollar budget to sample food for three hours – foods that they feel best represent their culture and cuisine.
The Israeli Students’ Association served the snack of Bamba, peanut butter and cheese flavored doodles. According the student group, the snack is extremely popular in Israel and something you devour most when you’re a child. Likewise, the Filipino Canadian Association of Ryerson (FCAR) gave out what you’d typically find a little kid eating in the Philippines – chips flavoured like adobo, a popular vinegar-and-garlic dish.
“We wanted to showcase true Filipino flavour,” said second-year FCAR member Jennifer Yoo. “One of the best ways to represent your culture is by the food you put on the table.”
Some student groups put out well-loved and popular treats, like the vegetarian spring rolls at the Ryerson University Mandarin Chinese Students and Scholars Association (RUCSSA) booth. The Sikh Students’ Network stall had one of the most famous street snacks in India, gol gappa, round crisps stuffed with water, spices and potatoes.
A huge part of the university experience is trying new things, and Ryerson’s food festival allows for students to eat foods they normally wouldn’t.
“There are so many different restaurants near our campus,” second-year student Basil Iqbal said, “But I’m not always sure if I’d like that type of food. Taste of Ryerson was great for getting a taste of something new.”
Hilel, the Jewish Students’ Association, gave the Ryerson community a taste of challah, a sweet egg-based bread, with three choices of middle-eastern dips served on top; a salmon sauce, hummus, or baba ghanoush.
Hungry students discovered deep-fried dahl and tamarind balls by the Caribbean Students’ Association, which were relished with their tamarind sauce. The Afghan Students’ Associated served bolani, a baked flat-bread baked stuffed with vegetables.
While some booths had only one snack, others, like the Polish Students’ Society’s, sampled sweet and savoury dishes. Krówki, milk-toffee fudge, packzi, deep-friend sugary doughnuts, and kielbasa, sausages were served by the Polish student group.
For the South Asian Alliance (SAA), they decided they wanted to represent the food of the South Asian nations with something other than the run-of-the-mill samosas. Although it was a bit of a challenge preparing fresh papadi chaat on campus, they managed to successfully make the dish – fried crisps topped with yoghurt, chickpeas, spiced potatoes and sweet-and-sour chutney.
Food is something that brings everyone together, regardless of race, religion and ethnicity. Taste of Ryerson unites the Ryerson community and celebrates its rich ethnic diversity.