Feb 23, 2024

Taste of OSU 2024 served up international fare, music and dancing

The Palestinian Women’s Association and Students for Justice in Palestine were first place in food, cultural booth and tickets collected.

Where else can you find musakhan rolls, mango kulfi and zereshk polo ba morgh all on the same menu but at Taste of OSU, one of Ohio State's signature events and long-time traditions. More than 40 international student organizations showcased their culinary talent and put their performance skills to the test at this year's event that drew some 2,000 students to the Ohio Union on Feb. 16.

“Taste of OSU is such a wonderful opportunity for the campus community to get to know our international students and learn about different regions of the world,” said Kaya Şahin, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs. “Our students are fully engaged in sharing their culture and traditions in creative ways to capture the essence of the many countries represented at Ohio State.”

Taste of OSU was first held in Oxley Hall in 1997. There were four electric rice cookers, a gyro rotisserie and one large chicken roaster overloading the circuit breaker every few mintues. Approximately 60 people attended the event that spring day to enjoy a plate of international food on the lawn in front of the building. 

Burmese Student Association cultural performance.

Organized by the Office of International Affairs, Taste of OSU has grown significantly in the past 27 years and provides a space for students from many different backgrounds to celebrate their culture and traditions with the campus community. 

“Taste of OSU is an amazing event that showcases Ohio State’s diversity and allows students to expand their world view all while having fun!" said Shadiyah Feliciano, a fourth year majoring in animal sciences and student chair of Taste of OSU.

To prepare for Taste of OSU, students select two favorite recipes from their home countries and work alongside campus chefs in the Ohio Union to prepare their international dishes. At the event, guests can purchase $1 tickets to buy a small "taste" of food from a wide variety of regions of the world. 

Bangladeshi Student Association culture booth

Students participate in a friendly competition for best food and best cultural booth. Their dishes are judged by those who simply love good food as well as experts in the cultinary field. Dishes are scored based on flavor, appearance, texture and cultural significance. Many of the cultural booths displayed include posters, historical retrospectives, interactive presentations and tell a story about a specific country or region of the world. 

This year's Taste of OSU winners are: Palestinian Women’s Association and Students for Justice in Palestine (first place in food, cultural booth and tickets collected); Persian Students Association and Iranian Students’ Union (second place in food); Pakistani American Students’ Association (third place in food, cultural booth and tickets collected); Saudi Students Organization (second place in cultural booth); Brazilian Student Association (second place in tickets collected).

Also highlighting the evening were the 24 groups that took the stage to share traditional songs and dances from all around the world. The crowd enjoyed a wide variety of genres - everything from Irish step dancing and K-pop to Salsa and Afro-Caribbean dances.