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Harrison High Students Dine at International Cafe

HARRISON, N.Y. – Harrison High School students sampled food from a variety of cultures at the school’s annual International Café.

Spanish Club Advisor Olga Garcia said the International Café is completely coordinated and operated by students. Garcia said the event is meant to celebrate the various cultures that attend the school and to eat, eat and eat.

“We've been doing this for about seven years and it keeps getting bigger and better,” Garcia said. “The kids are really into it.”

Junior Amy Carton, a member of the Spanish Club, said her and several other students in the French, Latin and Italian clubs spent the last couple of days putting up flyers and getting the word out about the event. On Wednesday, Carton was at the school all day to make sure everything went smoothly.

“This is a way to interact with people that we never interacted with before,” Carton said. “I can see that someone made a pesto pasta dish and have a conversation starter right there.”

Latin Club Advisor Maria Battipaglia said some of her students tried out recipes from ancient Rome. Since there was no sugar back then, the dishes use honey as a sweetener. The Roman dishes also don’t have potatoes or tomatoes since ancient Romans didn’t have access to either.

“While they are cooking and eating, the students are also learning,” Battipaglia said.

Italian Club Supervisor Maria Conte said students are encouraged to make dishes with which they are not familiar. Conte said the students not only benefit from learning a new recipe but a new culture as well.

“It’s a social event,” said sophomore Kristina D’Onofrio. “We see what other students make and we can ask them questions about it and find out more about where they are from and their cultures which we might not be familiar with.”

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