Monday, February 19, 2007
Penn State recently held its annual African food and culture event sponsored by the African Students Association. This always-sold-out event attracts 400-600 students, faculty, and community people who come to be touched by the vibrancy and creativity of Africa: to taste the food, hear the music, listen to the speakers, watch the fashion shows and dancers and drummers and acrobats. . .you get the idea.
Producing the meal is a feat in itself. As usual, preparation takes place behind the scenes, mostly by the women students, using Penn State's conference center kitchen. Special ingredients from cases of red palm oil and agushi to ripe plantain are ordered well in advance, and for two days volunteers are in the kitchen chopping, dicing, marinating and cooking. I visited the kitchen the day before the actual event. While most of my pictures are in albums on the betumi flickr account, along with descriptions, here is a sampling. This year's event was heavily influenced by the West African students from Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo and Liberia.