Thursday, May 04, 2006

Food Bazaar

“Really good food, great people, wonderful decorations; all around a posh occasion,” said Eric VanOss ’07. VanOss was referring to the Asian Food Bazaar, which took place last Saturday afternoon.

The bazaar was a huge success, attracting customers ranging from infants to adult members of the community. Associates of various Asian clubs showcased select dishes from their countries and educated students and faculty at Andover about the different aspects of their cultures.

At the Vietnamese stand, Michelle Nguyen ’07, Miles Silverman ’07, and My Khanh Ngo ’07 sold spring rolls, called Bann Trang Cuon. The extremely popular rolls were made of rice noodles, shrimp, lettuce, and rice paper. “At home we make this at the dinner table – [making spring rolls] is a great way to talk and get to know each other and they’re really easy to make,” said Ngo.

Jean Pak ’07, Jae-Yeop Kim ’07, and Yujin Chung ’09 worked at the Andover Korean Society stand. Pak said, “We all went downtown to cook our food. Without [the faculty’s and club member’s] help we’d be nothing.”

The AKS shared many traditional dishes including Korean sushi, a sushi made without raw fish, Mandoo, a form of fried dumplings, Korean Pancakes, and Chapchae, noodles cooked with sesame seeds and sesame oil.

The Chapchae was spares and simple, with hints of peanut and sesame flavors. This dish revieved varying reviews: some customers loved the flavor while others found it bland.

“There are different degrees of food that people are willing to try,” said Lisa Lian ’08, one of the coordinators of the event. “The food bazaar has helped everyone here to try to push the limit with what we are willing to try.”

Not everyone at Andover was ready for all of the different tastes at the bazaar. However, experimentation was key on Saturday evening. Though some people were not open to some of the different flavors, it was a great way to incorporate a different style of food into Andover’s culture.

The Andover Japanese Club, headed by Mia Kanak and Palmer Rampell, both ’06, sold Kakigori, a traditional fruity shaved ice dessert, Edamame, and Yakisoba noodles.

Having tried the Yakisoba Mary Doyle ‘08 commented, “The pasta is filled with spices, you can taste all of the herbs in it.” Sara Ho and Grace Gordon, both ’08 described their stand, which included an origami display, a traditional Japanese toy called the Kendama, and a challenging timed competition picking up as many M&Ms as possible with chopsticks.

“Our stand is kind of a mixture of different clubs; we all just wanted to help out. It’s a chance for everyone to share the types of food they eat at home,” said Ho.

Kendama is a type of Japanese toy that children and adults play with. There are over 1,000 different techniques used by professionals and it is becoming a competitive sport in Japan. The point is to try to land the wooden ball on one of four points.

“It’s a cool game, it’s really fun,” said Laura Herrmann ’06, a member of the Japanese club. “It’s really popular in Japan, it’s a children’s game but there are also professional competitions.”

“I’m half Japanese so I grew up playing Kendama,” said Aya Murata, Adviser to Asian Students. “This game brings a cultural aspect to the Bazaar so it’s not just about food. We hope that this will help people in the community learn a little bit about Asian culture.”

The Chinese Taiwanese Student Association contributed food including white rice, fried rice, scallion pancakes, dumplings, and bubble tea. They also cooked “General Zhou’s Chicken,” in honor of their club president.

“Everything here is home cooked,” said Lauren Johnson ‘07.

“I got to experience many different cultures, eat new foods, and have a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to the talent show,” said Eli Grober ’09 when asked about his experience at the Bazaar.

“The work was extremely hard and tedious, but when we sold it, it was all worth it,” said Stephanie Teo ’08. She helped her club cook Hokkien Mee, a type of pork noodles, fried rice, spring rolls, and Red Bean Wanton, a sweet, crisp traditional appetizer.

Lucas McMahon ’08 summed up the evening well, saying, “I think that the Asian Bazaar was a lot of fun and a great way to celebrate Asian culture.”

Stephanie Teo and Megan Richar

Monmouth is a top restored beach

The restored beaches from Sea Bright to Manasquan Inlet in Monmouth County have earned honors as one of the 2006 Top Restored Beaches from the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA).

The 18 miles along Monmouth County's shore are among six beaches from around the country being singled out for successful efforts to restore the health, ecology and protective benefit of their coastlines.

The Sea Bright to Manasquan Inlet project has succeeded beyond the designers' expectations of a six-year renourishment cycle. The project, conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, in partnership with the state of New Jersey, has reduced storm damage for more than 10 years. It is the largest restored beach in the United States and will be the site of the ASBPA's 2006 fall conference in October.

Designed as a storm protection project to prevent infrastructure damage from ocean storms along the heavily populated coastal area, the project involved creating a 100-foot-wide sand berm 10 feet above mean low water. Outfall lines were extended and stone groins were notched to facilitate sand movement along the shoreline. Before the project was completed in 2001, after seven years of seasonal construction, many areas had only seawalls and strips of beach a dozen feet wide as protection from Atlantic storms.

One renourishment cycle has been completed, in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach. Design plans are nearly complete for the next section, Long Branch, with contract award scheduled for this fall.

The ASBPA established its Top Restored Beach Awards to build awareness and appreciation for the value and importance of America's restored beaches. Coastal communities are asked to nominate their restored beaches, and an independent panel reviews the selections based on its ecological and economic success, the short- and long-term performance of the restoration project, and the unique challenges overcome in the course of completing the restoration project.

This year's other five winners are: Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland; Captiva Island, Florida; Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, Alabama; Pinellas County beaches, Florida; and Rehoboth and Dewey beaches, Delaware.

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