Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Around the World in 80 Dishes = Brilliant lunch!

I had the absolute pleasure of joining hundreds of people from across West Norfolk in attending the Around the World in 80 Dishes event in King's Lynn at the weekend - mainly because I knew I would be getting a free lunch!

Walking into the Corn Exchange on Sunday afternoon the first thing to hit me was the brilliant aroma of culinary delights from across the globe shortly followed by the array of colours, outfits and smiles around the venue. After a quick butcher's hook around the event, I then began talking to some of the stallholders whilst tickling my tastebuds on dishes from South America, Asia and beyond.

Among the 25 displays were members from the Filipino Association of West Norfolk dressed in brilliant traditional costume and all looked fantastic. Emmanuel Cabales was part of the large group representing the Philippines at the event and, while serving me some Filipino food, he said to me: “We enjoy coming here because we like to share our culture and it’s good for people to try something a bit different, ask questions and engage with us.”

Nearby there were colourful foods from Brazil, Portugal and Mexico on offer but before venturing to those stands, I was distracted by Brazilian Adriana Beard who was not only heavily pregnant but was wearing a skimpy Samba outfit!
She told me: “Everybody is enjoying getting a taste of Brazil and it’s nice for me to be representing my country while making some new friends.”

Meanwhile I caught up with Leanne Johns who was representing a country a little closer to home - Wales. She made some Welsh cakes for the event and they seemed to go down really well with everyone. I'm not so sure the Welsh rugby union jersey she was wearing went down as well mind!
On leaving the event, now in its eighth year, I could see why so many people return to the event every year. Not only can you fill your boots (and belly!) with free food from around the world - most of which you may not have tried before - but also engage with different cultures.

You have the opportunity to ask questions about food, costumes and customs and, more importantly, make these small groups in West Norfolk feel part of the communtiy. There were also plenty of competitions and demonstrations to make sure the whole family has a brilliant FREE day out and I really hope organisers get the funding to bring it back to King's Lynn again.


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