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The Spice of Life


The Students of College 236: Culture and Politics of Food are becoming quite the connoisseurs of authentic global cuisine after a recent exploration of a few ethnic food markets in nearby Utica, N.Y.

Professor Franklin Sciacca supplements traditional lectures and assignments with these weekly excursions. Past adventures have included work on the community farm and cooking workshops with Bon Appetit staff. These engaging activities provide the students with a comprehensive and eye opening glimpse into the wide world of global and local cuisines.

 The short tour began with a stop at Senshine Market that specializes in Russian and Eastern European products. Here, the owner treated students to samples of imported sausages and drinks.

Next on the itinerary was a visit to International Grocery Europa Market, a Bosnian establishment that caters its products to Utica’s large Bosnian population. 

 At the Min Htet Win Oriental Market, the students explored the various Burmese, Southeast Asian and Indian offerings.

The afternoon concluded with a visit to Hummus and Tabbouleh, a Middle Eastern restaurant, where they feasted on stuffed grape leaves, hummus, pita and falafel.

Isabel Taswell ’19 called the tour incredible. “I have seen so many unusual foods and been exposed to so many cool and new foods. I can’t wait to try them all,” she said.

Amanda Lodge ’18 was equally impressed, stating simply that the shops’ many offerings “made [her] want to buy everything.”

While finishing the shared meal at Hummus and Tabbouleh, Nikhil Pillay ’17 reflected that “I don’t think I have smiled this much in a class before.”

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