AMHERST – Smells of cooking from around the world were wafting from the First Baptist Church Saturday for their annual International Food Festival. Vendors brought some home cooked meals, meals common from their home countries, and shared them with visitors to the church looking for a little culture shock.
“There was a really good crowd,” said Daisy Mah, one of the organizers of the festival. “People really enjoyed the food.”
Available for sampling were dishes from 15 different countries including Great Britain, China and Ireland.
“There are more participants this year,” said Mah. “It started out as a way to raise funds for the church. People enjoyed it so much they were asking when we were going to have the next one.”
Because of the success of the first year, Mah helped organize two more festivals, including this years.
Mah said a lot of the vendors are able to not only share their culture, but offer participants recipes so they can try and make the dishes at home.
“The food is authentic, like they were made in their home countries,” she added.
First time vendor, Patricia Bell, brought the taste of Ireland to the table.
“I brought Irish stew,” she said. “It was really good, a great day. It was really busy earlier. Everyone sold out.”
Alelia Miller came out to the festival with her parents. Miller said her favorite food to try was the ice cream. She said it was the best.
“Because it’s vanilla,” she said but admitted she liked chocolate ice cream as well.
Her father, George Miller, said his family was impressed by the festival in previous years and had to come back to try out more food from other countries.
“It’s always a great time,” he said. “I think these kids here liked the sushi the best because they had all kinds of it. It was a better venue this year because there were three or four more tables. More sampling for lunchtime.”
The vendors were at the church from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.