|As you enter the festival flags from countries throughout the world line the walkway.|
On Saturday we went to the Kansas City Ethnic Enrichment Festival. As a family we love going to different festivals to try new things, hear new music, look at fun crafts and all that goes along with outdoor fairs. This was, however, the first time we had been to this festival. There are booths set up representing various countries. There was also a main stage with entertainment on the half hour. While we were there we saw Irish dancers...very cool!
The main focus of the festival, it seems, is to showcase various foods from each country. My kind of fun! Each booth had several choices from savory to sweet and a few beverages as well. The food is all very reasonable priced, ranging from $1.00-$4.00 for each menu item. We started with beef shawarma from Egypt. John and I each took a bite and then Ezra did, too. That’s when JF and I both realized, almost simultaneously...yikes! We have no idea what was used to cook these foods and each booth could potentially have used nuts. We have also found that, in many cases, the people working the front have no idea what was used in the cooking and sometimes it has been made off-site so no one even knows for sure. We opted to err on the side of caution and also the side of not being annoying to the volunteers just trying to make the festival fun for everyone. So, now shawarma for Leevs. But, don’t worry, there were plenty of other treats that he tried that we knew were nut-free. The shawarma was very good. Lots of flavor and very tender. The pickle was...interesting. Had a bit of a kick!
My favorite booth was Japan. We had a sticky rice ball, sweet rice-stuffed tofu, steamed edamame and...drum roll...a green tea popsicle. I love anything made with green tea. From cookies to soap. I love it all. But it is hard to find green tea sweets (ice cream, cookies, etc.) in this area, so I was thrilled.
A mango shake from Pakistan (no sips for Levi), gazpacho from Spain, fried plantains from Haiti, Iced Coffee and coconut juice from Thailand. Second favorite? Vietnam. We had shrimp spring rolls and fried rice, a favorite of both boys.
|Pretty much a dream come true for me to sip from a freshly cut open coconut!|
|I love their hair! And energy!|
|Thai Iced coffee for my coffee drinker.|
As with most children, mine tend to be picky with what they eat. This was a great opportunity not only for them to hear and see new things but to also try many different foods. We encouraged them to take a tiny taste of everything. Levi was a little harder to convince than Ezra, plus we had the worry of nuts, but he did a great job. I was shocked that Ezra even tried the gazpacho. A tiny sip and a wrinkled nose, but he still tried it! To me, that means everything.
If I can get my children to try new foods and flavors I feel that as they venture out in to the world they will be more open to different, and hopefully healthier, options.
Going to the Ethnic Festival was a preview to the fun fall festivals that happen nearly every weekend from now until November. As a family we had a great time and will definitely make it a yearly tradition.
What did you do over the weekend?