Keck Center Hosts International Cake Tasting Event

On Oct. 26, the W.M. Keck Center for Language Study hosted an event featuring cakes from around the world prepared by the department’s language interns. The event was first held last year and judging by its continued success this year, Director of the Keck Center Corey Duclos affirms it will be an annual tradition. 

When asked about the significance of the cake tasting event, Duclos elaborated on the importance of fun events like this that encourage interest in foreign cultures. 

“It’s always good to give everybody a chance to taste food from around the world,” Duclos said. “It’s a little taste of what students can experience if they take language classes where they can learn more about the world […] and that really is, for me, an important part of what it means to have an education at Colgate.” 

Students had the opportunity to taste cakes from a variety of cultures, from desserts such as tres leches and tiramisu that are well-known worldwide, to less ubiquitous ones including Egyptian Basbous and Russian honey cake. There was a wide representation of countries at the event. 

Some of the cakes, like the Taiwanese pineapple cake or Chinese sun cake, were pre-made because their ingredients are difficult to find. However, many of the cakes were homemade by the language interns, including the tiramisu dessert.

Jacopo Casari, an intern from Treviso, Italy, where tiramisu has its origins, provided some insight about making the best tiramisu and shared what the dessert means to him. 

“What I love about it is the simplicity,” Casari said. “There are variations depending on your tastes. Mine is the tastiest one because I use just mascarpone cream. Then there’s a few tricks I add, such as including some chocolate chips to make it sweeter. It’s always been my favorite cake ever since I was a kid, because every birthday I had two — not just one, but two [tiramisu desserts].” 

This event provides language interns such as Casari with the opportunity to share a piece of their culture with the Colgate community. Judging by the small amount of cake left at the end of the event,  students thoroughly enjoyed experiencing a taste of all the different countries represented. 

First year Mia Toribio-Lantigua attested to the success of the event, commenting on how she appreciated the chance to try new foods while also getting to eat desserts, such as tres leches, that reminded her of her home in the Dominican Republic. 

“Overall, I think it is a very good activity and it’s good that people here at Colgate and the language department are doing these events,” said Toribio-Lantigua. “They bring students together for something that we all have in common, which is the love for candy and sweets.”

As Duclos stated, the cake event encouraged students to take their connection with other cultures beyond an appreciation for international desserts to another level, through foreign language study.