On Thursday, 130 students filed into the Undergrounds Coffeehouse for an opportunity to try Korean dishes selected by the Korean American Student Association (KASA).
“Cabbage, pepper, salt, sugar, fish sauce, fermented shrimp, onions, garlic, and Korean LOVE,” read one of six posters, which gave the ingredients and description of the side dish Kimchi.
Jun Park, treasurer of KASA and a junior majoring in accounting, explained the purpose of the event.
“It’s a food workshop — basically it’s an opportunity for students to see and taste different types of cultural Korean foods that are really popular in our country and all over the world,” Park said. “We were brainstorming events, what kind of events do college students like to come to, and who doesn’t like to eat? And the whole point is to get some cultural education across, and in order to do that serving food is the best incentive because students are always going to come out.”
Food was provided by Man Nam, a Korean restaurant on Vestal Parkway. Sung Kim, a member of KASA and a junior majoring in management, explained why he bought the food the food from a local restaurant: “We all know how to cook, it’s just obviously a lot of time and effort. This is our first step as a club to present our food and the ingredients, maybe if this event is a success in the future we’ll present a workshop.”
Members of KASA expected a strong showing by the Asian Student Union, but they encouraged a more diverse audience, too.
“You’ll see that a lot people like Korean food whether you’re Korean, whether you’re Chinese, whether you’re Japanese,” Kim said. “Whether you’re white, Italian, German. I have plenty of friends back home who always go to Korean barbecue with me, and it’s really an acquired taste, but once you get into it, you wanna try it all the time.”
Gabriella Yannotti, an undeclared freshman, talked about her favorite dishes, including Bibimbap and Kimchi, as she sang along to a popular Korean movie playing in the background.
“This has inspired me to learn to make Korean food, because this food is all so awesome,” she said.
Johanna Schwarzer, a freshman majoring in integrative neuroscience, spoke about her excitement at trying more Korean food.
“Definitely something more spicy, more extreme,” she said. “We should try this more in the dining hall!”