A world on our doorstep

Residents at a hostel for young women are enjoying a world of culinary delights, without even leaving their front door.

Staff and customers at Withipoll Street in Ipswich, Suffolk, have been learning about different cultures while enjoying varied food, all of which is cooked from scratch.

So far they have enjoyed an American-style barbecue, as well as experiencing the tastes of India with hand-made onion bhajis and authentic Makhani curry and holding a traditional Spanish evening with Paella.

Along with the food, they are also holding a quiz at the beginning and end of each session covering knowledge of the nation being “visited”, a bit of basic language and food hygiene. For example, they have learned why leaving cooked rice at room temperature is dangerous and how cross-contamination occurs.

One of the next cuisines on the menu is Mexican, with one resident ready to introduce everyone to the chicken tacos she makes when visiting family at home.

Claire Ball, project worker at the scheme, said: “The dishes featured in our events are low budget and relatively easy to make. Customers and staff alike have been converted – we had some who said they didn’t like onion Bhajis – but they can’t get enough of the authentic hand-made ones. Now they all want the recipe.

“We are looking forward to all our future trips.”