Letters from alumni about cuisine on campus today
I was happy to see your April 21 cover story on "The New College Cuisine." Over the last two years I had the good fortune of working with Stu Orefice, Sarah Bavuso, and David Goetz as part of Greening Princeton, a student / faculty / staff collaborative dedicated to reducing on-campus environmental impacts.
Now I work with other institutions attempting to do some of the same projects that Princeton has adopted, such as increased local purchasing. I am amazed at how fortunate I was to start with a Princeton dining partnership. Not only were Stu, Sarah, and Dave enthusiastic supporters of the Greening effort, but they were also enthusiastic learners, helping us all become more educated about the process of making change in the food system.
S. Helen Labun 02
The food served at Commons from 1946 to 1948 was nothing to brag about. Sunday dinner, however, which was served from noon till 1 o'clock was generally very good and was by far the best meal of the week.
Bill Van Cleve '50 discovered that if one arrived at Upper Cloister as the doors opened at noon, one could have a Sunday dinner, and then by rushing to Madison just before those doors closed at one o'clock, one could have a second Sunday dinner.
We did that often.
Richard C. Hungerford 50
Students today are missing an educational opportunity that accompanied the glory days of Howard Johnson catered meals in Commons. For example, mystery meat was a lesson in comparative biology was the veal really beef or pork? The same for elephant balls what species were they from and were they really . . . Botany was learned during attempts to analyze green death. Algae? Slime mold? A higher plant phylum? Budding physicists could study the characteristics of Newton's rings formed by the thin layer of oil on sliced mystery meat.
Sunday dinner provided new intellectual challenges. On the alternate weeks, when the meal was alleged to be Welsh Rarebit, one had to use principles of material science to determine the composition of the object on the plate which was the size, shape, and consistency of a hockey puck. The gritty orange material ladeled over it was a study in the dynamics of sediment containing fluids. I will admit that no special talent was necessary to recognize the undercooked bacon. Alternate Sundays brought cold cuts. This provided another fascinating study in biology, allowing the student to attempt to identify what is usually labelled "meat byproducts."
Gerald S. Golden '57
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