At the EUR there are around three thousand foreign students from 110 different countries. They all have their own culture and eating habits. Carien van der Wal got inspired and put together a cookery book with the best local recipes from many of these students.

The ‘Erasmus Student Cookbook’ was presented to the public during the ‘KunsthalKookt’ event, the biannual culinary event in the Kunsthal Rotterdam. Van der Wal, alumna and corporate relations officer explains how the idea was born: “We asked students from different countries for their favourite recipe. Nothing brings people together as well as food does. The cookery book represents about thirty different countries, from Nepal to Brazil. The ROC Zadkine school helped putting the book together. Students of the ‘tourism and catering’ programme tested the recipes, a number of which can be tried here today.”

Thus one can enjoy a Bulgarian Tarator, which is a chilled cucumber soup with yoghurt and walnuts. It appears to be a nice and refreshing summer dish. Another traditional dish is Israeli Shakshuka, sent in by third-year IBA student Jonathan Friedman. This is a spicy stew with onions, tomatoes, capsicums and peppers, served with bread.

“A year and a half passed in between having the idea and having finished the book”, van der Wal continues. “Putting together a cookery book is an art by itself. One must try whether the recipes work and whether it tastes nice. In addition all recipes had to be translated and the dishes had to be photographed, all in all a time consuming process.”

Member of the Executive Board Kees van Rooijen of course joined the presentation. He did not try to hide his preferences at all. His favourite dish, he explained, is the Austrian Kaisersmarrn. These are small pancake pieces with raisins and powdered sugar. “I like sweet things and I enjoy cooking. I usually cook in the weekends.”

The books revenues will go to scholarships for talented students.

‘Cookin’ Rotterdam; Erasmus Student Cookbook’

compiled by Carien van der Wal; ISBN: 978 90 812325 2 4, price: 10 euro.