Andy Dehus, co-owner of Columbus Food Adventures, is leading a group of hungry and inquisitive epicureans around town in search of ethnic eats.

As he pulls his van into the parking lot of Panaderia Guadalupana, a Mexican bakery on the north side of town, he describes the upcoming experience with all the excitement of a storm chaser following a tornado as it swells in size. “If you haven’t had a fresh churro, you haven’t had a good one,” Dehus says.

The enthusiasm over authentic ethnic food in Ohio’s capital is spreading rapidly, and the growing interest is well-founded. In a state where immigrants account for roughly 4% of the 11.7 million population, Columbus' foreign-born population is nearly triple that, accounting for more than 11% of the city's roughly 896,000 residents, according to DataUSA.