Harvard vs. Yale (Dining Edition): An Interview With Emme Zhou (and Friends!)

By Eve S. Jones and Anjali Z. Mehta

Over 600,000 people have fallen in love with Yale senior Emme Zhou '23’s TikTok account, which documents her college experience and highlights her dining hall adventures. Over the Harvard-Yale weekend, Flyby brought her and her friends to the hallowed Adams House dining hall to learn how HUDS compares to Yale dining (Hopefully, it fairs better than our football team). After completing the classic Harvard introduction (Emme is a senior in Pauli Murray College studying Econ and Art!), we got to the juicy questions.

Harvard vs. Yale Dining

HUDS Pros

While Emme’s questioning of the mysterious beige sauce in the sandwich bar did not bode well for us, she noted many pros of the Harvard dining experience.

While Yale may have the better football team, they apparently do not have trays. Emme joked that “trays are a game changer.” But, honestly, making multiple treks around the dhall would certainly increase your chances of ~coincidentally~ running into your House crush.

Beyond trays, there were many other HUDS dhall staples that Yale doesn’t have (#losers #stayjealous). Emme noted that the “sandwich bar is something we don’t have,” and there are “so many milks.” Notably, the chocolate milk did bump the Yalies’ overall HUDS rating up from a 6.5/10 to a 7/10.

Max, Emme’s boyfriend, also commented on the cereals. He stated, “I like how proud they were to have the knock off cereals. We have knock off cereals, but they just call it Cinnamon Crunch. But, you guys [are] like ‘this isn’t Fruit Loops this is Veggie Rings.’” They’re right — something about eating cereal called Apple Zings or Marshmallow Mateys makes the culinary experience so much more fun.

The Yalies were startled by a group of students who had lugged in a TV to watch the World Cup. We then explained that the seating area never closes. Turns out, at Yale the “you can’t be in [the seating area] unless it’s dining hours,” a change that would unfortunately force students to watch the World Cup in their room, the more standard location.

Honorable mention to the crunchy peanut butter.

HUDS Cons

However, the Yalies noted some aspects of the HUDS experience that could be improved.

Emme commented that the signs explaining the ingredients in each HUDs dish are small. This was especially relevant given that Emme is vegetarian. While enlarging all the HUDS signs may seem like a daunting task, if we can make the turkey mascot happen, we’re confident we can get this ball rolling.

Emme also stated that at Yale the kitchens are more visible where “most of our students will be like ‘Oh hi, Joe! Hi, Frank!’ and greet our dining hall staff. It’s definitely a different experience here.” More love to HUDS staff seems definitely doable as well <3.

How About Yale?

Emme and her friends also talked about their experiences with Yale dining (spoiler alert: they’ve been pretty freaking great).

When asked about her favorite Yale meal, Emme described “chocolate chip or multigrain pancakes with cardamom whipped cream and coconut flakes. Scrambled eggs with melted cheese and pesto parm crusted potatoes on the side… And I always get 2% milk.” Next Harvard-Yale, we will be going straight from the tailgate to the Pauli Murray dhall.

Emme also described the variety of offerings at Yale. She explained, “I grew up in a Chinese household and most of the time we just ate Chinese cuisine. Yale dining has introduced me to a lot of cuisines… We have a variety of food that I would never have eaten if I was just at home.”

While maintaining the motivation to create can be difficult, Emme states that she “truly enjoys the [Yale] food,” and describes that “what keeps me going is a genuine interest in what I’m filming.”

Q&A

Question: Based on vibes and name alone, rank the given past and present Harvard dhall offerings.

Answer: Fogbuster, Red’s Best Catch, Blueberry Pork, Shrimp Pancakes, Beef Fettuccine Alfredo.

Question: You make Yale food look so good. Any tips for romanticizing your life?

Answer: Plating is so important. If you really want to level up your dining experience, please make sure your food does not touch.

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