A Taste of Bethel is a food lovers dream

by K.J. Lincoln

The second annual Taste of Bethel celebration of foods from different cultures was a hit. The aromas of different culinary dishes filled the air as food lovers flocked to the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center this last Saturday to sample a myriad of diverse and authentic cuisine from around the world.
There was something for everyone’s palate. Here is a list of vendors from this year’s event:
Austrian: Hungarian Goulash by Manfred Finger
Hawaiian: Spicy Poke by Brandon Waipa
Mexican: Elotes by Andrew Gonzalez
Filipino: Pancit At Bihon by Sheila Waters and Gigi Desper
Iranian: Samosas and Sar Gonjeshki by Akram Didari
Alaskan Fusion: Reindeer Fried Rice by Patricia Dallas and Mike Chung
Mexican Fusion: Fish Tacos by YPCC Youth and Theresa Quiner
Albanian: Baklava and Byrek by Mimoza and Klajvis Pellumbi
Greek/German/Irish: Greek Salad, German Apple Strudel, Irish Stew by Reyne Athanas and Landon Burke
Vegan: Black Bean Sliders and Black Bean Brownies by CJ McCormick
Thai: Yellow Chicken Curry and Pad Thai by Malada Vongsamath
Soul Food: Red Beans & Rice and Shrimp & Grits by Dinetta Morris
Korean: Kimchi Pork Buns by Dyane Chung
Malaysian: Nasi Lemak by Zhi Hastie
Polish: Sauerkraut by Cezary Maczynski
“I got the Korean pork buns. They were pretty good,” said Sharon Chakuchin. This is her first time at the Taste of Bethel. “I also got the Israeli hummus dish, it was really delicious.”
She said that her friend’s daughter got the black bean slider. She also had her eyes on the Hawaiian spicy poke.
“It was so amazing,” she said.
The line was long for the Mexican elotes. That is grilled corn on the cob stuck on a stick and slathered with vegan mayonnaise and spices. The wait was worth it, everyone loved them. There were some folks that got not one but two.
Tickets were sold at the door at $5 apiece. A ticket could get you a portion or piece of any of the tasty foods featured at the event. All proceeds went right back to the chefs.
By 6pm, most all of the chairs were filled with folks enjoying their food and the company. Live guitar music was provided by Joshua Fisher and Paul Conti. The Taste of Bethel is sponsored by the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center.