By Sade Smith, News Editor
At the Hot Pot Buffet in Chinatown Boston, students who were friends and strangers indulged over a myriad of food for over two hours.
The Asian Student Association (ASA) collaborated with The Frederick Douglass Unity House on a trip to a traditional hot pot restaurant in Boston.
Before leaving for Boston by bus Monday night, students participating in the trip received a crash course on traditional Cantonese and Taiwanese hot pot eating.
One of the differences between the two styles they pointed out is the level of spiciness of the broth. In the pot, there are two different broths: spicy and neutral, which you can cook your food in.
Executive board members then showed the participants a YouTube video by the Fung Brothers whose review of a hot pot restaurant also showed viewers the stages of food received during a meal, what sauces to use and simply, how to enjoy the food.
And the hot pot is just that, you are given a pot with boiling spicy and neutral broth and then you cook your food in it and enjoy with rice or noodles.
An executive board member joked saying, “We are all college students, so I’m pretty sure we all know how to eat noodles.”
According to traditional hot pot eateries, first come the vegetables, then thinly sliced meats such as beef, lamb and pork. Seafood including shrimp, squid and flounder come out after that and at the buffet, students were able to order as much as they liked.
For junior marketing major Janier Ward, she felt that the options of food available was the best part. “I loved being able to taste new things and still have my favorites like the shrimp and fish. And this is my second year going and it still gets me.”
Organizers of the trip also made sure to accommodate students to any food allergies or dietary restrictions and allowed them to have their own pot to cook their food in.
After buffet style eating for upwards of two hours, UMass Dartmouth students took a trip around the corner to a Boba Tea place. Once they ordered their drinks, they passed the time by playing card and board games at the tables such as Uno and Connect Four.
Executive board members of ASA explained that hot pot eating is very common in a lot of Asian countries, usually as a dinner meal. Being away from home, going out to eat at a hot pot restaurant with friends fills that nostalgic feeling and allows students to still experience the sharing of food with people close to you.