The Hispanic American Student Association and Student Government Association will host a celebration of Latin American culture with a culinary festival on Wednesday.
Juan Cabrera, the coordinator for Latino Programs and Services in the Office of Student Life, said “Latino Flavor” is a yearly event held by HASA and the “largest culinary celebration of Latin American cuisine on campus.”
Cabrera said the yearly event aims to highlight the rich culture of Latin America.
“When people think Latin America, I think people first think of Mexico, but we're much more than just one country,” Cabrera said. “(The event) is a journey, via food, and it's an awesome opportunity for people to learn about the diverse cultures of Latin America.”
Cabrera said the food at the event is provided by Union Catering, and the event planners had a food tasting to approve the menu options the week before the festival. The event will feature traditional food from 20 Latin American countries.
Due to COVID-19, Cabrera said the festival had to forgo its usual live music entertainment and reduce indoor seating. Cabrera said instead of three days, the festival will take place during one day and will offer take-out options.
Although the festival is operating at reduced capacity, Cabrera said it still provides a good way for students to learn about Latin American culture. For the $5 entrance fee, students will be served one beverage, one dessert, two sides, two appetizers and two entrees.
“We try to keep it very reasonably priced, and for the amount of food that you get, it's a really awesome opportunity,” Cabrera said. “There's lots of great flavors from the beverages all the way to the dessert. Everything's really tasty.”
Cabrera said the festival will offer Cuban black beans and rice; chocolate Santafereño, Columbian hot chocolate with cheese; Mexican street corn; brigadeiros, Brazilian chocolate confections; lomo saltado, a Peruvian stir fry; llapingachos, Ecuadorian potato cakes; and more.
“We try to highlight different countries,” Cabrera said.“When you have your plate, you're not going to have all the same things from one country. It's all going to be from different countries of Latin America.
The “Latino Flavor” festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 3 in the Molly Shi Ballroom of the Oklahoma Memorial Union. Admission is $5, and all attendees must follow OU COVID-19 guidelines.
“We're excited to offer the opportunity for people to learn about the diversity of Latin America,” Cabrera said. “It's an awesome cultural experience, so why not go?”