Are there any foodie fanatics on college campusus?

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Answered by: Talene, An Expert in the College Matters Category
America has fallen hard for food. We spend our time drooling over food blogs and flipping through glossy paged cookbooks. Our favorite film star is a deceased, Francophile chef. This gastronomic craze has even reached the college campus.

I learned very quickly that I was not the only foodie freshman with an immersion blender under my bed, left stranded and kitchenless. Two doors down from me, a classmate was pulsing nuts into almond butter in her Cuisinart. On the way to do my laundry, I passed a computer science major adding caramelized onions and thyme to a plate of perogies.

A chemical engineer I met in passing told me about his frequent trips to Trader Joe's in search of Garam Masala. He’s trying to recreate Lamb Briyani with an electric fry pan. When it’s time to pick a restaurant, my peers pull out their iPhones to compare dining reviews on Yelp and Urban Spoon. Students here don’t spend much time doing intramural sports. Instead, food based causes dominate the extracurricular scene—Meatless Monday, Slow Food, Cooking for Love, and Sustainable Agriculture groups meet weekly.

And the administration has taken notice. The dining hall serves up surprisingly innovative fare like Israeli cous cous and Lamb vindaloo. Last week featured some impressive nods to Haitian cuisine. It’s not uncommon to sit next to a few hockey players praising their made to order falafel, smeared in tahini paste. Snack shacks dot the campus, but instead of potato chips, students shuck pods of edamame into the early morning.

Academic buildings now include pricey coffeshops with praiseworthy pastries made from scratch on site. Roasted vegetable flatbreads go for 5 dollars apiece. Homemade empanadas stuffed with olives and shredded chicken go for 7. Students leave behind a trail of scone crumbs on their way to lab, while others race to lectures with a pearly Madeleine. Not a bad snack before Introduction to Psychology.

When you were surviving on pizza and cold Chinese, today’s college students are eating quite well. I was interrupted from a set of Economics problems recently, by a friends’ text message, announcing, “I’m trying to make mousakka. Eggplant is so hard. Suggestions, anyone?”

From kitchens the size of your half bath, students are doing some impressive cooking. If confidence is the key to success in the kitchen than many of today’s undergraduates have the audacity suburban mothers are lacking.

So I challenge you not to heed that aubergine alarm. Try some new recipes. Surf The Traveler’s Lunchbox for suggestions to spice up weekday dinners. When you discover a dish that you love out to eat, always ask the kitchen for tips to reproduce at home. Invite international neighbors or students over for a cooking class. I can make a pretty decent Pumpkin Kaddu thanks to an Afghani exchange student. You’ll find that stepping out of your culinary comfort zone is easy, rewarding, and can do a number on your social life. And if you end up in trouble, head straight over to the college campus.

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