“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, J.R
You join the back of a long queue of people, hungrily anticipating their lunch. It’s cold. They’re waiting for the warm arepa, to bite into it and feel that happiness as their teeth sink into the cheesy beans, that satisfaction as the succulent meat in its spicy sauce fills their mouth with amazing flavours.
It’s 1pm on a Wednesday outside Hove town hall and you’re at Street Diner – about 10 different stalls run by International locals cooking large pots of delicious and exciting new street food all for around £5. You can choose from a variety of culinary experiences from Portugal, India, Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Peru, Italy and more. There’s laughter as the memories of home of friends and family, make people smile and you smile with them. Sharing their national food is sharing that enjoyment with them and everybody knows food is a great way for people to connect and come together.
Due to popular demand by students, this week at ELC we held a very successful International food social evening where students were invited to bring a dish that represented their country. We had arepas (as described) from Colombia, Camembert cheese from Normandy, France, Cabsah (rice and chicken) from Saudi Arabia and our organiser bought Cornish pasties (meat with vegetables in gravy) – which represent the county of Cornwall, her hometown. Students were amazed that they liked the pasties as they had previously banded English food as being generally ‘bad’! So were pleased they had the opportunity and encouragement to try something new and change their opinions.
Brighton is a diverse, multicultural city which is reflected by its wealth of restaurants and food shops representing all four corners of the globe and accommodating all kinds of diet, from vegan to halal to kosher. New places are opening every week and it’s one of the most current cities, where you can find something new and inspiring to try as well as the classic, authentic dishes you may already know so well.
Some of the students said they found it difficult finding ingredients to recreate their favourite food from their countries so here are some of the best places to find unusual or exotic ingredients if you want to cook something special:
Taj the Grocer – 59 Western road, Hove, has an enormous range of Far Eastern, Middle Eastern, African, Halal and South Asian ingredients. The spice and vegetable ranges are excellent and they also have an extensive olive selection.
Yum Yum Oriental Supermarket – 23 Sydney street Brighton, is a Japanese shop selling dried food, frozen food, sweets, sushi and sashimi. It also has a restaurant upstairs!
Infinity Foods - 25 North Road, Brighton, is a health and wholefoods shop stocking fresh organic vegetables as well as lots of natural dried goods, drinks, medicines and cosmetics.
Ottogi Supermarket – 34 Blatchington Road, Hove, is a little shop stocking vegetables, products, tinned food, sauces and more from China, Japan, Thailand, Korea and the Philippines.
Unithai – 10 Church Road, Hove. This little shop has one of the best Thai restaurants at the back of it that not many people know about.
The International food social evening was interesting for everybody involved and there has been lots of talk about another. With Christmas fast approaching it would be particularly nice to do a Christmas/winter themed International food evening...so watch this space!