InterFest attracts hungry crowds despite wind

Chance Swaim

Despite strong winds, the International Student Union’s food festival — or “InterFest” for short — served large crowds throughout the day Tuesday.

“Because of the sun, we had to make changes,” said Vilanka Wevita of the International Student Union. “We expected the wind. We had tape to [get] everything prepared.”

Originally scheduled on the north patio of the Rhatigan Student Center, InterFest moved south, out of the 40 mph wind, to the shady Neff Hall courtyard.

Food from around the world was served from canopied stands. Popular music from abroad played loudly over the speakers, drawing curious students to the event.

“I get sick of Chik-fil-A, and this is a good opportunity to check out food from different cultures,” senior Nathan Davis said.

The menu included cuisines from Bangladesh, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Vietnam.

“What’s this?” Davis asked the servers at the Bangladesh stand, pointing to a glass jug filled with creamy orange liquid.

Mango Lassi, they told him, a mixture of mango, milk and sugar.

“Sounds good,” he said, and handed over his two tickets.

“The wind is kind of annoying, but it’s not going to ruin anything,” Davis said. “If I have to, I’ll take my food inside to eat.”

At the Palestine stand, offerings included grape leaves yalangi — cooked rice and veggies wrapped in purple grape leaves — chicken wraps — they looked like egg-rolls with chicken and onion — kunafa — cheese inside a crispy dough, the Palestinian version of a cheese Danish — and a dough filled with cheese and half-and-half.

“Two desserts and two regular,” Ola Khaleel said. “They’re very good. Everyone should try them.”

Khaleel said most of the ingredients could be found at an Indian or Arabic grocery store.

Other popular dishes included the Korean bulgogi hot dog and the Turkish donar kebab. The donar featured meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie and dished on a flatbread bun.

Each dish ranged in price from $1 to $3 per serving and several students, faculty and staff returned for seconds.

InterFest is held once each semester — in the fall and spring.

“I wish Interfest happened more often,” Davis said.