Skip to main content

Tastes of Home

Campus Life

Popular international food festival goes virtual—remains just as delicious


Published March 17, 2021

The international food festival known as IS Day has become a beloved annual tradition at Smith: Hundreds of students, faculty and staff pack the Campus Center Carroll Room every fall to sample dishes from students’ home countries as flags of the world fly and international music plays.

Last year marked the 70th anniversary of the International Students Organization (ISO), which puts on the event. With students scattered across the globe during the fall semester, the ISO decided to celebrate the occasion by recasting IS Day as a virtual IS Week. The organization solicited recipes from international students and alums, then invited the entire Smith community to make the recipes and share the results on social media using the hashtag #ISWeekChallenge.

In the end, 16 international Smithies—including two alums—representing 14 countries and four continents contributed recipes from their cultures. A handful even made accompanying cooking videos. Here, ISO cochair Maria Bermúdez ’21, who calls both Argentina and Spain home, shares her family recipe for alfajores, or dulce de leche sandwich cookies. And Diana’s Table YouTuber Diana Kang ’78 of Seoul, South Korea, offers her take on traditional dubu kimchi (tofu kimchi).


Comfort Food

“Cooking can be a solace in difficult times. Cooking can be a connection to place. That could be true if you’re staying at home. That could also be true if you haven’t been able to go home in a long time. So, [with IS Week 2020] we wanted to utilize cooking as something that encourages people to be introspective and connect with something that is comforting.”
—Associate Dean for International Students and Scholars Caitlin Szymkowicz


Maria Bermúdez ’21 says her alfajores are best enjoyed with a cup of tea and a friend.


By Maria Bermúdez ’21

Yield: About 25 cookies


3.5 ounces/100 grams white sugar
7.05 ounces/200 grams cornstarch (maicena)
3.5 ounces/100 grams white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
ó teaspoon baking soda
5.3 ounces/150 grams butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 cans dulce de leche
shredded coconut


Step 1
Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Step 2
Mix all the dry ingredients (sugar, cornstarch, flour, baking powder, baking soda) and placethem on the counter.

Step 3
Make a hole/well in the middle of the mixture for the wet ingredients.

Step 4
Melt/soften the butter and mix all the wet ingredients (butter, vanilla, egg yolks).

Step 5
Place the wet ingredients inside the hole/well made with the dry ingredients and mix it all together.

Step 6
Knead the dough and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Step 7
Extend/stretch the dough until it’s about 0.4 inches/1 centimeter thin. Cut the dough into circles using a cookie cutter.

Step 8
Bake in the oven at 350ºF until the cookies are golden brown. Let them cool and then fill them with dulce de leche and coconut.


Diana Kang ’78 says her dubu kimchi is easy to make and even easier to enjoy.

Dubu Kimchi (Tofu Kimchi)

By Diana Kang ’78



1 medium-firm tofu
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons sesame oil
ó cup chopped kimchi
1 teaspoon sugar
Baby greens


2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds, freshly ground
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce


Step 1
Mix the sesame dressing ingredients well and set aside.

Step 2
Cut the tofu into a round shape, using a mold.

Step 3
Divide the round tofu into two sections. Set aside one layer. Mash the other with the back of a knife.

Step 4
Season the mashed tofu with 1 tablespoon freshly ground sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon sesame oil.

Step 5
Season the chopped kimchi with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Squeeze excess liquid out and set aside.

Step 6
Using the plain tofu as a base, add the chopped kimchi on top. Add the mashed tofu. Top the stacked tofu with baby greens.

Step 7
Serve with the sesame dressing.


This story appears in the Spring 2021 issue of the Smith Alumnae Quarterly.