Connecting through cuisine and culture



Whether you're a proud foodie or can't tell your veggies from your fruits, one thing is undeniable - food connects people unlike anything else.


Photograph: Unsplash

Text: Michaela Medveďová


International Family, an Odense-based voluntary association bringing internationals closer, knows this very well. Food is at the heart of Dinner Tuesdays, a project organised jointly with Ungdomshuset that aims to bring the Odense community together through food, introducing different cultures. “Food is a common language, no matter where you come from,” explains Eleni Pasa Yıldırım, the board president.


On a Dinner Tuesday evening, the doors of Ungdomshuset’s café are open between five to nine, with food being served between six and eight o’clock. Diners can choose between two main courses - a vegan and non-vegan option - priced at 50 DKK. For an additional twenty, they can enjoy a dessert.


The dinners attract around 40 people - Danes and internationals alike. Some come to meet new people - others want to practice their Danish.

There’s no need to sign up for the event, but it might be good to show up early to have all available meals. “On some occasions, we are sold out. We cannot predict how many people will come, and we are also trying to avoid food waste. That’s why some people come a bit earlier - they don’t want to miss the dessert.” The dinners attract around 40 people - Danes and internationals alike. Some come to meet new people - others want to practice their Danish. The event had its biggest success with Brazilian night, which also celebrated carnival when around 80 people arrived to try the food. “What made this a little more attractive was that we donated all the profit to a Ukrainian non-profit organisation.”


Since February, they have already organised an Italian, Indian, and Ashkenazi Jewish night - it depends on the volunteers who are available to bring in the recipes and lead the effort in the kitchen. Still, the organisers also try to take seasonal holidays into consideration. “It doesn’t matter if the person heading the dinner has cooking experience or not - they can just come with authentic recipes and lead us. We also have some professional chefs volunteering with us.”


After a brief break in April, the dinners are back in a monthly instead of a weekly format - but going forward, the events will focus much more on culture and the delicious meals.

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