Taste of Goshen brings international flavors to First Fridays

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By: Gwen Ragno

Mark Shephard/The Elkhart Truth

Those who head to downtown Goshen for the May First Fridays festivities will get the chance to sample food from across the world at the Taste of Goshen.

The event, organized by Goshen’s Community Relations Commission, aims to celebrate cultural diversity in the Goshen community. The food is prepared by Goshen residents who represent a wide range of racial and cultural groups. They each choose a few delicacies from their respective cultures and display the food in booths along East Washington Street between Main and Fifth streets.

Plates are available in a range of sizes, from $2 tastes to $9 meals, so attendees can choose to sample several different cuisines or chow down on one favorite.

This is the third year that the Taste of Goshen has been a part of First Fridays, and many of those participating have been there before. Darin Short, a consultant to the Community Relations Commission and one of the event’s organizers, said that the Palestinian booth, with its lentils, seasoned rice, tabbouleh, falafel, hummus and pita bread, always is one of the first to sell out. The Salvadoran pupusas are a big hit as well, he said. The Indian booth’s mango milkshakes have a special place in Short’s heart because that was the first ethnic drink he ever tried, many years ago.

Short said there was a special effort this year to have both the Russian and Ukrainian cultures represented side by side, to emphasize the friendliness among those two groups locally, despite the rising tensions between their home countries. The Ukrainian booth will be serving pierogies (potato dumplings) and desserts, and the Russian booth will feature blini (thin pancakes, like crepes) and kompote (a punch made from boiling dried fruit).

Other cultures represented include Korean, Puerto Rican and Amish. See the full list at cityonthego.org/first-fridays.

Despite similar names, the Taste of Goshen has no relation to the Taste of Downtown Goshen event that takes place in October.

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