Expect more meatless options, ethnic cuisines, and homestyle favorites on your plate this semester.
Harvard University Hospitality and Dining Services announced Monday on its blog the debut of a number of new food items on the winter menu—including a pepper steak made from a meat substitute and Ethiopian veggie stew—in an effort to provide culinary variety for students.
“We want to bring in new varieties and flavor and keep you from being bored,” said HUHDS spokesperson Crista Martin.
The change was partially motivated by the Residential Dining satisfaction survey, which was sent to students in early November.
This year, residential dining received an overall satisfaction score of 3.76 out of 5—a rating similar to that of last year.
The breakdown of student dietary preferences also remained “almost identical,” with 8 percent of students self-identifying as vegetarians, less than 1 percent vegan, and another 72 percent indicating they have no personally defined restrictions.
The new recipes for the winter also include new meatless options, such as seitan, a meat substitute made from wheat gluten, and tempeh, a soy product.
Other new entrees include pulled pork tacos, vegan chicken pitas, salmon burgers with green goddess sauce, and buttermilk raisin scones.
The seasonal menus tailor not only to the availability of produce, but also to the students’ changing tastes through the season, Martin said.
For example, students prefer heartier and warmer food in the winter, whereas preferences shift to lighter entrees with fresh spring ingredients, as the weather gradually warms up, she said.
The “exceedingly popular Korean BBQ” will continue to appear every Tuesday, made-to-order omelets on every other Sunday, and topping stations for hot dogs, burritos, tacos, and nachos will be available periodically throughout the semester.
Jennifer L. Martin ’13 said she is a fan of the new baked potato bar, which is featured every Monday with toppings such as vegetarian and meat chili, crumbled bacon, scallions, and sour cream.
Antone Martinho ’13 said he liked the idea of make-your-own stations. “With these make-your-own bars, you can take a dish that might have 16 ingredients and customize it to fit your taste,” he said.
According to the HUHDS blog, over 3,300 students took the satisfaction survey this year.
HUHDS has conducted the survey every fall and spring for more than a decade.
—Staff writer Jane Seo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.